Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Acts 3:7

Tuesday 1/31/12

Acts 3:7 And he took him by the right hand and lifted him up, and immediately his feet and ankle bones received strength.

Interpretation:
     In the previous verse, Peter told the man to walk in the name of Jesus. But what I find interesting, is that this verse doesn’t just say “And immediately his feet and ankle bones received strength.” No, there’s another phrase in there between Jesus’ name and the man receiving strength. You see, even though Jesus can do anything and could heal the man right at the end of verse 6, we don’t read about the strength returning to the man until after we first read how Peter lifted the lame man up.
     There are times when others around us (specifically other Christians) need us to come around them and lift them up. In Exodus 17, Joshua and the Israelites are fighting against the Amalekites while Moses lifts his hands up to heaven. As long as he was doing that, the Israelites were winning the war. The problem, however, is that he started to get tired. It was then that two other guys, Aaron and Hur, lifted up Moses’ hands for him. It was with the help of his friends that Moses was able to lift his hands up to the Lord and receive the victory for Israel.
     So how are we supposed to lift up our friends? Do we literally hold their hands up to the sky? Of course not! However, in James 5:13-15 it says, “Is anyone among you suffering? Let him pray. Is anyone cheerful? Let him sing psalms. Is anyone among you sick? Let him call for the elders of the church, and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord. And the prayer of faith will save the sick, and the Lord will raise him up.” Interestingly enough, the words “shall raise” in James 5:15 is the same Greek word as “lifted him up” in this verse here. While God can heal and work without us, He still many times desires and chooses to work through us and our prayers. Prayer is perhaps the most powerful way we can lift up our fellow brothers and sisters in the Lord. So in Acts 3, we see Peter calling on the name of the Lord and lifting up the lame man; in James, we see Christians praying in faith and lifting up those who are sick and see the Lord raising the sick. Don’t be mistaken; we might not go around healing and helping people exactly like Peter and John did, but we still do it the same way – by calling on the name of the Lord and lifting up those around us. We have the same Lord as the apostles did, and He’s waiting for his people to pray for others. As James 5:16b says, “The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much.”

Application:
     For the past couple of days, Megan has not been feeling well. I will pray at least three times (and whenever the Lord puts it on my heart) for Megan as well as anybody else who is not feeling well or just needs me to lift them up before the Lord today.

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