Day 245: September 2, 2013

Today's Reading(s)

Acts 3:11-26
11 While he was holding on to Peter and John, all the people, greatly amazed, ran toward them in what is called Solomon’s Colonnade. 12 When Peter saw this, he addressed the people: “Men of Israel, why are you amazed at this? Or why do you stare at us, as though we had made him walk by our own power or godliness? 13 The God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, the God of our fathers, has glorified His Servant Jesus, whom you handed over and denied in the presence of Pilate, when he had decided to release Him. 14 But you denied the Holy and Righteous One and asked to have a murderer given to you. 15 You killed the source of life, whom God raised from the dead; we are witnesses of this. 16 By faith in His name, His name has made this man strong, whom you see and know. So the faith that comes through Him has given him this perfect health in front of all of you.

17 “And now, brothers, I know that you did it in ignorance, just as your leaders also did. 18 But what God predicted through the mouth of all the prophets—that His Messiah would suffer—He has fulfilled in this way. 19 Therefore repent and turn back, so that your sins may be wiped out, that seasons of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord, 20 and that He may send Jesus, who has been appointed for you as the Messiah. 21 Heaven must welcome Him until the times of the restoration of all things, which God spoke about by the mouth of His holy prophets from the beginning. 22 Moses said: The Lord your God will raise up for you a Prophet like me from among your brothers. You must listen to Him in everything He will say to you. 23 And everyone who will not listen to that Prophet will be completely cut off from the people.

24 “In addition, all the prophets who have spoken, from Samuel and those after him, have also announced these days. 25 You are the sons of the prophets and of the covenant that God made with your ancestors, saying to Abraham, and all the families of the earth will be blessed through your offspring. 26 God raised up His Servant and sent Him first to you to bless you by turning each of you from your evil ways.”

Unless otherwise noted, all Scripture quotations are taken from the Holman Christian Standard Bible®, Copyright © 1999, 2000, 2002, 2003, 2009 by Holman Bible Publishers. Used by permission. Holman Christian Standard Bible®, Holman CSB®, and HCSB® are federally registered trademarks of Holman Bible Publishers.

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Today's Reflection

Key Verse(s)

When Peter saw this, he addressed the people: “Men of Israel, why are you amazed at this? Or why do you stare at us, as though we had made him walk by our own power or godliness?” 
—Acts 3:12

by Deane Webb, Member of Brentwood Baptist Campus

As with many passages we read, there are multiple lessons to be learned. In this passage, however, I have a hard time getting past the lesson shown to us in the first verse. In verse 11, we’re told the people were amazed at the healing God had just provided through Peter and John.

As Peter so directly stated, “Why are you amazed at this?”

The question was as relevant today as it was then. Why are we amazed when God does amazing things? God has a history of performing miracles, changing lives, and providing salvation for the world.

In our society, evil people do evil things, and we’re not surprised. We want to reach people for Christ so lives can be changed, but until Jesus changes a person’s life, we shouldn’t be surprised when evil comes forth.

Perhaps it’s a cliché, but the old saying is accurate: Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me.

We generally get from people what their history tells us we will get. Why then are we surprised when God does something truly amazing? We sing a song called Amazing Grace. We get to live because of that grace.

Are we surprised by God’s amazing actions because we feel things have changed due to perspective—that somehow the God of Abraham, Moses, Peter, and John isn’t as powerful in modern-day society? Do we feel the battle is already lost? Do we feel we’re beyond saving and our society is so far removed from God’s plan that even God can’t put us back on track?

While we should never take for granted the time we have here on earth, it’s never too late for God to forgive someone or to reach a family, a school, a church, a city, and a country.

For our own internal hardships and struggles, we have until we die, even though it could mean many years of missed fellowship with Him. For societies, it means we have until He returns, although delaying will mean years of pain, hardship, and strife. Again, it’s not taking time for granted. It is understanding that today isn’t too late.

When you pray to God, what do you expect to hear back? Am I expecting to hear something similar to what I would say, or am I open to what the God of the universe, the God that is love, is trying to tell me?

God holds us accountable for our actions, just as the remainder of this passage illustrates. Peter and John were quick to remind the crowd that Jesus was killed because of their actions, and they also shared with the crowd that there was a way to return to God and follow Him.

God is amazing. He truly is. He always has been, and He always will be. Believe it, experience it, and expect it!

Reflection Questions

  1. Is God amazing to you?
  2. Is the God of today as powerful as the God of the Old and New Testaments?
  3. Are you willing to listen to God with an understanding of who He is?

About the Author

Deane Webb

Since 2003, Deane and his family have been members of Brentwood Baptist. He graduated from Mary Hardin-Baylor in 1995 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Kinesiology. Since then, he’s served at several universities and is currently the volleyball coach at Belmont University. Deane is married to Becky and they have two daughters: Sarah and Ashlyn. Some of his hobbies include: hunting, being outdoors, working out, and reading.