Tom Scott - 2/03/2014

Acts 3:1-10


Date: March 3, 2014

Once again we were hit with a fresh coating of snow on a Sunday morning.  Despite the snow, we had a wonderful service here at the church.  I am truly grateful for so many people coming out when the roads were covered.  Yesterday was the first in a new series entitled: Mall Evangelism 101.  During the month of March, I want to share four ideas that God revealed to me on a recent trip to the mall that touch on the issue of evangelism.  The first idea was the importance of being real with people.  If we want to share Christ with others, then we need to have a genuine faith in God that is evident.  Peter and John are a perfect example of this.  In Acts chapter three, we find the pair on their way to the temple to pray and as they pass through the gate called Beautiful; they meet a man who is crippled.  Here are five questions to help us reflect on the message:

1. While at the mall, I caught a young sales clerk trying to draw attention to himself as people passed his store.  Most everyone passed on by without giving him a second glance because they could see through his stunts.  There were a few who went into the store, but they did not stay very long.  When it comes to being real with people; what is something that sticks out in your mind?

2. The man who was begging at the temple gate asked Peter and John for money, but received none.  Instead he was told to stand up and walk.  Peter would grab a hold of his hand and the three would proceed into the temple area.  At Solomon’s Colonnade, Peter would tell the people that it was Jesus who had made this man whole.  Some were amazed and wondered how this could happen.  How do you suppose you would have reacted had you been in the temple area that day and witnessed this man’s healing?

3. When it comes to being real as a Christian, there are three observations that I wanted to draw out of this story from Acts chapter three.  The first observation is that we want people to look at us.  Peter would tell the beggar to look at him.  In Ephesians 5:1-2, the apostle Paul says that we are to be imitators of God.  When people look at us, they should see Christ living within us.  Whether we are at the mall, at school, or at the office, people are looking at us.  What image of Christianity do people get when they look at us?

4. A second observation that I take away from the story of the beggar at the temple gate is that we want people to listen to us.  Peter and John wanted people to listen to what they had to say about Jesus Christ.  Paul says we are ambassadors for God in this world with a message about Christ’s love and mercy.  In order to earn the right to be heard; people have to see us as someone who is real in our faith.  Why do you think so many people refuse to listen to Christians today when they talk about God and his message of grace?

5. The third observation from the message deals with wanting people to lean on us.  The beggar is said to have held onto the apostles while standing in the temple area.  He wanted to hear more from these two men who had just healed him.  In Second Peter chapter three, it talks about the coming destruction of the world.  Peter would ask the question: what kind of individuals should we be, knowing this fact.  His response is that we are to live holy and godly lives.  That is so true today.  Do you feel like people are leaning upon you because they see the spirit of God living within you?

People are more inclined to listen to us when they see us being real in our walk with the Lord.  Today, ask God to help you live in such a way that people have a good impression of what it means to be a Christian.  Like Peter and John, let’s be quick to point people to Jesus as our source of power and strength.

*********************SERMON OUTLINE*****************************************

March 2, 2014

Introduction:  Have you ever seen someone that was putting on a show for you?  Has anyone ever accused you of being a phony Christian?WhenPeter and John walked into the temple area, the man looked at the disciples expecting to get some money from them.  What Peter and John gave him was Jesus Christ.  When it comes to evangelism, we have good news to offer people.

I.Going to the temple.

A.  The man was begging at the gate.  Matthew 9:36-37

B.  The man was jumping to his feet.  John 5:14-15

C.  The man was holding onto the apostles.Luke 5:21

II.  Going to the chapel.

A. We want people to look at us. Ephesians 5:1-2

B. We want people to listen to us.2 Corinthians 5:20

C.  We want people to lean on us.  2 Peter 3:11

Conclusion: All of us could tell stories about people who are not real.  No one likes fake people.That’s why it is important that we are real in our walk with the Lord.  If we want to see people coming to church, then we need to be genuine in our faith.  People are more inclined to listen to us when they see us being real.What do people see when they look at us?

Key Thought: People are more inclined to us when they see us being real.

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