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DIVINE INTERRUPTIONS

DIVINE INTERRUPTIONS

Megan Evans, Women’s Ministry Director,  LHBC 

Acts 3:9-10 (ESV)
9 And all the people saw him walking and praising God, 10 and recognized him as the one who sat at the Beautiful Gate of the temple, asking for alms. And they were filled with wonder and amazement at what had happened to him.

Peter and John could have looked the other way…they could have rushed hurriedly to their destination unaware of the world around them.  But they didn’t…and the world was never the same.  

In a world driven by to-do lists and packed calendars full of commitments, it is hard to stop for detours or even slow down enough to notice divine interruptions, but these opportunities exist all around us.  

Acts 3 tells of a lame beggar who cried out for alms from Peter and John while on their way to the 3:00 temple service.  Their response to the beggar is captured in Acts 3:4-6 and is a beautiful moment of surrender. The apostles set aside their own agenda and allowed room for God to display His. 4 “And Peter directed his gaze at him, as did John, and said, ‘Look at us.’   5 And he fixed his attention on them, expecting to receive something from them. 6 But Peter said, “I have no silver and gold, but what I do have I give to you. In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, rise up and walk!”

We may not be able to heal with miracles, but every believer can offer the hope and love of Jesus.  We may not think a simple conversation or an act of kindness and friendship could yield much fruit, but that is the beauty of divine interruptions.  They often look ordinary. 

After the man’s lame legs were healed, he began walking and leaping all while praising God. Heads began to turn and take notice. The lame beggar was a regular fixture at the gate.  Those in the temple would have seen his crippled legs that very day!  How was this possible? 

As the display of God’s love intersected with a curious crowd gathering, Peter saw his opportunity to share the Good News of Jesus Christ to the very people who had rejected their Savior.  He told them about God’s mercy and grace and explained to the Jews that this was the same Jesus they had rejected and handed over to be crucified.  Peter explained to them that it was not too late to believe and receive Jesus Christ as their Messiah.  His audience listened and hearts were broken. “But many of those who had heard the word believed, and the number of the men came to about five thousand” (Acts 4:4).

The religious leaders didn’t like this of course and temporarily arrested Peter and John, and their afternoon plans were cancelled,  but not before a multitude of hearts were changed for all eternity.  Are we willing to set aside our to-do lists when the Holy Spirit tugs our heart?  Are we willing to set down our smartphones and engage with other people?  We can share the Good News of Christ in our nation thankfully without fear of jail, but perhaps we suffer in areas of our comfort, convenience, confidence, and/or reputation.  What will they think? What will I say?

Like Peter and John, we can start with eye contact and conversation.  Like Peter and John we can look for opportunities to love on people and share the hope we have.  Pray and ask God for opportunities to share your faith, and ask the Holy Spirit to work in the hearts of the people you speak to.   

PRAYER FOR TODAY:
Father God, help me to be still and listen.  Make me aware of the world around me and see interruptions as opportunities to engage with others.  Give me boldness to speak of you daily!  In Jesus Name, Amen.

MEMORY VERSES OF THE WEEK:
Matthew 11:28-30
Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”