Witnessing to the Hurting (3 of 4) by Jeff Strite

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Witnessing to the Hurting (3 of 4)
Series: Opportunity Knocks
Jeff Strite
Acts 3:1-20

OPEN: Years ago at summer camp I learned this little song.
If you know it sing along with me:

Peter and John went to pray. They met a lame man on the way.
He held out his palm and asked for an alm, and this is what Peter did say:
"Silver and gold have I none, but such as I have give I thee.
In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, rise up and walk!"
He went walking and leaping and praising God,
Walking and leaping and praising God.
"In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, rise up and walk."

(PAUSE) In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth rise up and walk.

We're not quite sure WHY Peter and John were going to the Temple that day. The song I just sang says they went there to pray, but the text simply says they "were going up to the temple at the TIME of prayer" (verse 1).
The book of Acts doesn't give us an exact timeline, but it seems to me that the Day of Pentecost (where 1000s became Christians because of the outpouring of power from God's Spirit and because of a powerful sermon by Peter) may have only happened a day or so before. And if that's true, there's every possibility Peter was so excited about what happened on THAT day that he going back to the Temple to find more people to preach to.

Now that may have been Peter's plan.
He may very well have been on his way to the Temple to do "church stuff."
But then he gets interrupted by a cripple who's looking for a handout.
It might seem like the cripple is an interference in Peter's plans, because Peter wasn't looking for a cripple to heal that day. He was on his way to "church."

ILLUS: I've read about a congregation in Florida where the worshippers who arrived at church one Sunday found themselves confronted by a bum sprawled against a palm tree on church property. This guy was lying there surrounded by beer cans, wearing a battered hat that shielding his eyes, and wearing shoes with holes that ...

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