3-15-14. Acts 3:11-26. THAT TIMES OF REFRESHING MAY COME-my devotional

3-15-14. Acts 3:11-26. THAT TIMES OF REFRESHING MAY COME-my devotional

times of refreshing

Acts 3:11-26

Saturday, March 15, 2014

Key Verse: 3:19-20                                                                                                                                                         Kevin E. Jesmer

“Repent therefore, and turn back, that your sins may be blotted out, 20 that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord, and that he may send the Christ appointed for you, Jesus,” 

Dear Lord, heavenly Father, thank you for the example set by our forefathers of faith. St Patrick set a beautiful example of faith and courage. He was a man of God and he even went to a hard to reach people group in order to preach the Gospel. He even went to his former druid, slave owner and urged him to repent and come to Jesus at the cost of risking his life and freedom. You were with St Patrick and you blessed the Irish people because of his faith. The whole world was blessed because of Irish Christianity. Lord, help the people of our land to know the real meaning of St Patrick’s Day. Help us to learn from his godly example. May we repeat his acts of faith and courage in our day. Help us to get to the real meaning and spirit of the season and not turn St Patrick day into a hedonistic occasion. Help us to get to the deeper meaning of why we celebrate certain days and keep with the true meaning of it all .Please come to my heart and help me to accept one word of God deeply within.  I pray in the holy name of Jesus Christ.

Part 1: You Killed The Author Of Life (11-16).

Verses 11-16, “While he clung to Peter and John, all the people, utterly astounded, ran together to them in the portico called Solomon’s. 12 And when Peter saw it he addressed the people: “Men of Israel, why do you wonder at this, or why do you stare at us, as though by our own power or piety we have made him walk? 13 The God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, the God of our fathers, glorified his servant Jesus, whom you delivered 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 for a murderer to be granted to you, 15 and you killed the Author of life, whom God raised from the dead. To this we are witnesses. 16 And his name—by faith in his name—has made this man strong whom you see and know, and the faith that is through Jesus has given the man this perfect health in the presence of you all.”

A crowd of people gathered around Peter and John as they heard about the crippled beggar now made well. This healed man was so thankful for the Apostles reaching out to him with the name of Jesus Christ. “While he clung to Peter and John”. He was so thankful for his healing and his new life. Of course he we can say that he should have clung to Jesus alone. But he was thankful to servants of God who took notice of him and reached out to him with the love of God and deep concern. For this he was thankful.

I am thankful to servants of God who are in my life, who have introduced me to Jesus Christ and who have pointed me in the right direction. Msn Ruth Hwang will always have a special place in my heart as the first one to share the name of Jesus Christ with me. Pastor Teddy and his wife Liz have pointed me towards Jesus Christ. Ron Ward and other UBF leaders have pointed me to Jesus. John Armstrong and Steve Leston have pointed me to Jesus Christ of Nazareth. Will I cling to them? Not likely. But I will always be thankful and always remember them. Thank God for servants of God in our lives. May we be those who point others to Jesus so that they may be blessed by the Gospel.

As the people gathered around them, Peter wasted no time in preaching the gospel to them. He made the most out of every opportunity. He was ready to share the good news. We need to take every opportunity, that God opens up to share the good news of Jesus Christ. I pray that as we begin to relate more to the people of the North, we may be able to make the most out of every opportunity to share Jesus in culturally sensitive ways.

Peter got to the point. He pointed out that they had disowned the Holy and Righteous One (14); they had killed the author of life (15). He then pointed to the man and declared that it was in Jesus’ name that he had been given this complete healing. Wow! Talk about getting right to the core! He never beat around the bush at all.

Why do we beat around the bush when it comes to sharing the Gospel? Maybe we are not sure about the power of God’s word to work in people’s hearts. Maybe we are afraid what people think, worried about being rejected. Sometimes we take too long to speak about the Gospel. Of course we need wisdom, but we can see in this passage, that we must walk through the open doors that God has unlocked for us. Lord, please grant us the courage, the wisdom and the momentum to share the gospel when you want us to share it.

Let’s break down his message. He pointed out that they had disowned the Holy and Righteous One (14); they had killed the author of life (15).  This is putting their sin before their very eyes. They did disown the Holy and Righteous One, Jesus. Jesus came to them, offering them the forgivingness of sin, salvation and eternal life. But they did not want any of it. They felt that they knew better. They felt that they already knew the way. But they were so wrong.

Peter said that they killed the author of life. (15) Well, they personally did not kill Jesus. The Romans literally killed Jesus. The people, that he was talking to, may have witnessed Jesus’ suffering and death. Some of them felt sorry for Jesus. Some may have been crying out, “Crucify him!” Some may not have even been there when Jesus died. So, what was Peter getting at?

Think about it this way. Jesus died for the sins of the world. All of the punishment due us was poured out on him, on the cross, so that the righteous Father could declare that we are forgiven. Our sins that we commit contribute to the need for the Holy and Righteous One to suffer and die on the cross. Since we have all sinned, we all have had a hand in causing Jesus to have to go to the cross. In this way, we have killed Jesus, because we have sinned and our sins committed 2,000 years after the event, sent Jesus to the cross. Let’s accept this fact and turn to Christ.

Peter did not say these things to lay on a heavy guilt trip on the people and leave them wallowing in their guilt. No. He was preaching truth. His hope is that they would see themselves as sinners and know that they were desperate need of Savior. Most were blind to the fact that they were on the edge of judgment. They were not aware of their need for a savior. But they were in need. Not only was there poverty, social grief, starvation and unimaginable oppression, personal inner suffering, they were also 40 years from being decimated by the Roman armies. Not only that, they would have to face the judgment of God without a Savior to plead their case before God. They were on the edge of oblivion. The edge of unreal suffering…even hell. They desperately needed to stop and open their eyes to see that they needed the Gospel that was given to them by Jesus Christ of Nazareth. I pray that we may all open our eyes and see our need for a Savior and repent of thinking that all is well without Jesus. Because it is NOT! Today is the day of salvation.

The people were moved by the changed life of this lame man that was healed. A changed life is a powerful testimony. Gospel preaching should be accompanied by testimonies of changed lives. As we point people to Jesus in the north, there will be changed lives in the remote communities. Those changed lives are most power message of the love of God revealed through Jesus Christ of Nazareth.

Part 2: Repent So That Your Sins May Be Wiped Out (17-26).

Verses 17-26, “17And now, brothers, I know that you acted in ignorance, as did also your rulers. 18 But what God foretold by the mouth of all the prophets, that his Christ would suffer, he thus fulfilled. 19 Repent therefore, and turn back, that your sins may be blotted out, 20 that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord, and that he may send the Christ appointed for you, Jesus, 21 whom heaven must receive until the time for restoring all the things about which God spoke by the mouth of his holy prophets long ago. 22 Moses said, ‘The Lord God will raise up for you a prophet like me from your brothers. You shall listen to him in whatever he tells you. 23 And it shall be that every soul who does not listen to that prophet shall be destroyed from the people.’ 24 And all the prophets who have spoken, from Samuel and those who came after him, also proclaimed these days. 25 You are the sons of the prophets and of the covenant that God made with your fathers, saying to Abraham, ‘And in your offspring shall all the families of the earth be blessed.’ 26 God, having raised up his servant, sent him to you first, to bless you by turning every one of you from your wickedness.”

Peter gave consideration that they had acted in ignorance (17). Still, ignorance is no excuse before God. Sin is sin. We can not say to the Father in heaven, “I didn’t know.” We are made in the image of God. The Holy Spirit is in us. God has been trying to reach out to us again and again for decades. Stop and listen quietly right now and you will know that Jesus is trying to reach your heart. Ignorance is no excuse. God is knocking at the door of your heart right now. Allow him to reside.

He also told them to repent so that their sins may be wiped out and times of refreshing may come from the Lord (19). People sure don’t want to hear the words, repent. Some are offended by the word. But I like it. The word has a good meaning. Repentance is turning to God. It opens the door to a whole new life. God refreshes the spirits of those who lead repentant lives and who trust in Jesus.

We all want times of refreshing. We all want to be made new. We want to be cleansed, healed and set free. There is only one way for that to happen. It can only come through repentance. When we repent of our sins, God is quick to forgive. We are assured that God accepts us as his children. And when we are completely forgiven by God our father, then we are refreshed. We are strengthened in our hearts. We can stand up and face the world because we are safe and secure in the arms of our heavenly Father.

People want times of refreshing. They are hungry for it and search for it. But it can only be found in Jesus. Times of refreshing come from the Lord, through the Gospel. It is a spiritual experience. It can be your experience. It can be obtained through repentance and faith in Jesus Christ of Nazareth.

Prayer: Lord, thank you for the promise of new life and refreshing times. I repent of my sins and receive Jesus as my Savior and Lord. Help me to live for your glory waiting for His return.

One Word: Times of refreshing come from the Lord.


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