“Hallelujah – sing Hallelujah – sing praises to Me – let this mark your week – All over the world there are tens of thousands, no millions of people who are rejoicing in Me – people in most difficult circumstances, hardship, poverty, sickness, having been deserted, lonely, grieving – many who still want to praise Me. So that is what I am doing – gathering a people who want to place Me first in their lives and sing hallelujah. they will be at home in My heaven. At the same time draw near to me where you can hear My heartbeat, like an infant child feels its mother’s heartbeat – and receive My love, receive everything I want to give you – as My Spirit works – love, passion, purity of thought, My holiness – be other-people centered this week as always and I will take you along the path I have chosen for you”.
Conscious of the emphasis on singing Hallelujah, I look up Revelation 19 and WOW! Just read it for yourselves.
Now I have been reading Acts chapter 3 for the last two days and here are a few thoughts that have struck me. Remember this is not a complete commentary.
Firstly the healing of the crippled beggar has a deeper dimension than just a healing miracle, which is of course fantastic. Turn to Isaiah 35:6 and look at the signs of the New Age that are predicted there. The age which turns out later to be the gospel age, the age of the New Covenant. So by placing this miracle right at the beginning of the story of the Church, Luke wants to remind us of the launching of a totally New Age. The age of New Wineskins, the age of the acts of the Holy Spirit through the Apostles. Notice that this person would be regarded as the least in the world of Israel and its just there that God starts working. In the end everyone in the kingdom will be singing Hallelujah together on an equal basis.
Of course this incident acts as a catalyst to the opportunity for Peter to be a witness by preaching the Gospel. Notice also how Peter emphasizes the fact that the whole Old Testament points forward to this time.
vs 16 is a bit enigmatic. How did the beggar receive faith. It is clear that God gave him faith. “It is Jesus’ name and the faith that comes through him ….” So it seems just the very act of obeying the apostle’s instruction to stand was a sign that he was believing and accepting the gift of healing he was receiving. It has been described as “active acceptance.”
Peter’s word to the people is ‘repent then and times of refreshing may come to you’ confirming the sign of the cripple. Then further on “Moses said ‘The Lord your God will raise up for you a prophet like Me from among your own people; you MUST LISTEN TO HIM'”. Sound familiar?
And then at the end of the chapter he repeats the promise God made to Abraham in Gen 12, and qualifies the promise of blessing made to Abraham with “When God raised up His servant, he sent Him first to you to bless you by turning each of you from your wicked ways”. So from that, the coming under God’s blessing under the New dispensation is commensurate with receiving forgiveness and turning from your wicked ways.
So what do I hear? A reminder of the importance of ‘listening to Jesus’. The way to blessing is taking from Him what He gives me as I turn from my wicked ways. I need to be reminded every day of these steps forward under His blessing which is only available to me ‘in Jesus’.
A reminder to me to be alert to any opportunity God may give me to speak out as a witness both in words and action.
And then a reminder of the importance of realizing the urgency of the moment in the light of the promise of the return of Jesus vs 21. Of course the New Age will only be fully consummated when He comes again, at the moment we are still living in the ‘now but not yet’ phase.
So let us spend this week ‘singing hallelujah’ in practice for the New World we will soon enter.
- Assyria Attacks
- God's Purpose for His People.
- The Messianic Age. “Now but not yet”.
- The spirit of the Pharisees, Lives on in the Church.
- Turning God's Wrath Away.
- Did God Make a Mistake with the Old Covenant?
- More on Listening and Love.
- Comfort for a People in the Wilderness.
- Eternal Loss or Better Things.
- The God who Speaks.