In Acts 3 there is a familiar story of Peter and John as they approached the temple. There at the gate lies a man who was crippled and begging for money. Peter said to this man as he passed by, I do not have any silver nor gold but what I do have in the name of Jesus I give it to you. Immediately the man’s legs received strength and he stood up and began to walk. This man because he was crippled was forbidden to enter the temple. Now he entered the temple leaping, shouting, and praising God for his new ability to walk.
I wonder did this man ever get over what Jesus had done for him? Did he ever come to a time in his life he thought, praising God seems to be too old-fashioned for him to do, leaping and shouting is not the “in” thing to do, going to the temple is not particularly important for me, or nobody wants to hear about what Jesus did for me. This writer personally does not think he ever got over what Jesus had done for him and continued to praise the Lord continually.
Today, there are so many believers that were once lost and headed for hell and Jesus saved and transformed them but yet it does not seem so important to give the Lord praise and honor. We live in a world that says praising God is too old-fashioned for me, we do not shout and praise the Lord because someone might see me, we do not have to go to church to be a believer, we do not have to share our salvation experience with anyone. We have lost the excitement of being changed from one who was dead in trespasses and sin and made into a child of God, headed for heaven when this life on earth ends.
I would like to share with you over the next three weeks six challenges for all believers that have become complacent of being a child of God to experience a reawaking of excitement.
Challenge one, renew your excitement of salvation. We might say, well if God had healed me of being lame like the man in the story, then I would be more excited. Let us be reminded that we were on our way to the Lake of Fire and God showed His love to us, while we were yet sinners, that He would allow Jesus to die on the cross for us. We have something to be excited about.
When you think of the hymn of the faith, “Amazing Grace” and really think about the words, we could not help but get excited. The first verse speaks of “Grace” God’s undeserved favor. We did not deserve Jesus’ substitutionary death, yet he came and died on the cross for us. One verse reminds us that since we were saved God has brought us through so many toils, dangers, and snares.
Another verse tells us that we can be sure that God’s promises will never fail. Another verse tells us that if time stands, we will all walk through the valley of the shadow of death and God’s love, peace, mercy, and comfort will be with us. Another verse tells us that this world and all its material things will one day pass away but God’s word will never pass away. The last verse reminds us that one day we will, as believers, get home into the presence of Jesus and because of His amazing grace after 10,000 years, we will have just begun to enjoy our salvation.
We do have much to be excited about.
Challenge two, we need to be excited about spending time talking with God in prayer. The way we build relationships is to learn to talk with each other. This is true of all relationships: husband-wife; parent – child; friend to friend; employer – employee just to name a few.
We have often allowed our prayer time to become a check the box to ease our conscience. We go through the motions of prayer so we can feel good about ourselves but do not spend quality time with God. We often use prayer also as a 911 emergency number, and we use it when a storm arises in our lives and the rest of the time it is non-existent. Prayer for a child of God is one of the most powerful tools we have but we must truly get excited about using it if we are going to truly make a difference in our circle of influence.
Let us seek to more excited in our faith. Next week we will look at some more challenges for an exciting walk with the Lord.