Thursday, April 9, 2009

At the Appointed Time

In my Tuesday night small group Bible study we are currently studying the book of Acts. I came across something in the 3rd chapter that was very meaningful to me:

1One day Peter and John were going up to the temple at the time of prayer—at three in the afternoon. 2Now a man crippled from birth was being carried to the temple gate called Beautiful, where he was put every day to beg from those going into the temple courts. 3When he saw Peter and John about to enter, he asked them for money. 4Peter looked straight at him, as did John. Then Peter said, "Look at us!" 5So the man gave them his attention, expecting to get something from them.

6Then Peter said, "Silver or gold I do not have, but what I have I give you. In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, walk." 7Taking him by the right hand, he helped him up, and instantly the man's feet and ankles became strong. 8He jumped to his feet and began to walk. Then he went with them into the temple courts, walking and jumping, and praising God. 9When all the people saw him walking and praising God, 10they recognized him as the same man who used to sit begging at the temple gate called Beautiful, and they were filled with wonder and amazement at what had happened to him. Acts 3: 1-10

It says that this man was put at the temple gate every day. It says he was crippled from birth and later in chapter 4, it says that the man was over 40 years old when he was miraculously healed. My study Bible says the gate called Beautiful was a favorite entrance to the temple court. So this is what hit me in this passage. If this man was put there every day, there is a pretty good chance that Jesus saw this man during His time on earth. And yet Jesus chose not to heal him at that time. Why? Because at the appointed time, Jesus chose to heal this man through Peter and John. And what was the result? All who recognized the man were "filled with wonder and amazement at what had happened to him" (v. 10). The healing of this man at this time provided the opportunity for Peter and John to address a crowd of onlookers and later the Sanhedrin. As a result, the number of believers grew from the 3,000 at Pentecost to 5,000 (Acts 4:4). The Sanhedrin wanted to punish Peter and John but could not decide how to do so because "all the people were praising God for what had happened" (Acts 4:21). God was glorified in the healing of this man through Peter and John at this time. God's timing is always perfect.

Is this cycle the appointed time for us? I don't know, all I know is that the Lord has said, "This is the way; walk in it" Isaiah 30:21. My prayer is for God to be glorified. I will not lean on my understanding or try to guess how God will work things out. I will wait upon the Lord to reveal His perfect plan in His perfect time.


Stacey said...

I love reminders of God's perfect timing, like in Galatians 4:4! It's so refreshing to be reminded that He has a plan and He's in control.

Love ya!

Flakymn said...

I remember hearing a sermon or having a similar devotion at some point ... I love this.

I Believe in Miracles said...

His perfect timing is always a mystery to me. It's crazy how what seems so imperfect to us, really isn't.