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Acts 3:11-21 - Questions for Reflection & Prayer

This week we continued looking at the story of Peter and John healing a lame man on their way to the Temple (Acts 3).  Indwelled with the Spirit of the Living God, Peter and John are close to the source of all life:  Jesus the Christ.  They are continuing to devote themselves to the habits and practices that will allow the fruits of the Spirit to grow within them, including devoting themselves to times of communal prayer on a daily basis.

Now, the crowds hear this news of the lame man's healing, and they run to see this man and to discover what power or technique has healed the man.  They discover the man standing next to Peter and John and assume that these two are "holy men," something many people were searching for in Jesus' day.  This same search still goes on today.  One way we seek a better life is to seek out celebrities, gurus and human leaders that we can put our faith and hope in.

Question for reflection:  How are we tempted in our culture to put our trust in human leaders, especially in our own American culture?  Why is it we so often point to our "lead" pastors or politicians or celebrities as the models of what the good life looks like?  What dangers do we open ourselves up to by locating our hope in a human leader?

Even more interesting, the place where this crowd runs to is Solomon's Portico.  In Jesus' day, this was a place widely regarded as a center of commerce and new ideas.  It was a marketplace of new options. 

This seems to capture our own situation.  We live in an extremely consumeristic society where we are constantly bombarded by messages that our life is really not complete because we do not yet have (a) this product, (b) this experience, (c) this bit of financial security.

Wes shared the humurous story of the "Purple mattress" commercial, and how it illustrates the overall belief floated in our world all the time:  our lives are not really pleasing/successful/good enough until we acquire this next thing.

Questions for reflection:  How has this type of thinking crept into your own life recently?  And what sources of power and happiness have you been trying to grasp in order to have a better life?

The image of building a fire was used to illustrate how finding our life in Jesus is the best way to gain the fuel and power necessary to make it through this world.  Peter lifts up Jesus in just this way - declaring him to be God's agent of restoration and enduring power.

Questions for reflection:  What steps do you want to take to put Jesus more at the center of your life?  How can you practically devote yourself in deeper ways to be his disciple?  Do you have a plan for studying Jesus' teaching?  Are you actively reading the Gospels or the New Testament daily?  Are you setting aside time for stillness, solitude and prayer?

What other sources of fuel are you trying to hold onto or use to generate life/meaning/security?  Do you feel God leading you to repent of clutching to any of these other "fuel sources"?  

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