Acts 3 is proof that something had changed in the Apostle Peter. I know in Acts 2 he was filled with the Holy Spirit. Then he preached and saw thousands of people come to Christ. And that's awesome. But it's pretty easy to be bold and courageous in certain environments isn't it? Peter, on the day of Pentecost, was no doubt feeling pretty good. The adrenaline was probably pumping. His friends would have all been cheering him on. But what about later when the moment had passed and when the feelings had faded? What did Peter do when things all went back to 'normal' again? Well, Acts 3 tells us.
The story and what we learn from it
Peter walks with a friend down the road. It would have been busy, dusty and hot. Stinking donkeys are led past them by grumbling young men, woman work busily in the hot, morning’s sun. It's just a regular day. Then, all of a sudden, the Apostle and his friend see a crippled man being carried to the temple gates. Nothing unusual about that. He'd seen that same man numerous times before, begging for money. But what does Peter do? He walks across the street and he speaks to the man. He speaks the name of Jesus. He speaks with boldness. And he declares healing. And the man is suddenly able to walk.
The question has to be asked-Why, when Peter had probably seen this man countless times in the past, did he go over to speak to him then? I think it's because Peter finally realized what God's mission was. I think he knew he was called to join Him in it. And I believe, perhaps most importantly, he knew he could. Finally, after all those years of Jesus training and teaching him, Peter believed in God's mission enough that, even on a regular day, he walked across the street and declared the love and power of Jesus into a hopeless situation.
The questions we ask about missions
Though many churches and organisations speak on how important missions work is, it often remains undefined doesn't it? When the topic of missions is bought up we ask ourselves "What does a missionary do? Am I qualified? What does a life of mission look like?” And sadly these questions are not often answered. Or sometimes we're not even brave enough to ask the questions.
Next week, NZCMS is mailing out 2018's first issue of our bi-monthly publication, Intermission. It's titled "We're all called to go" not because we want to beat you over the head and say "Do more!" but because we want to encourage you that the mission of God is very, very possible for you to be part of. And we want to show you how. Perhaps, just like Peter, your mission is right across the street.
If you are not on our mailing list and would like a copy of next week's Intermission, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call us on +64 3 377 2222