So often we get caught up in the hustle and bustle of life. From trying to get to work on time, getting kids to their different extracurricular activities, making it to the community group, or even to church on the weekend: we have so many things driving our decisions throughout the week. Life can feel so busy that the idea of someone needing our attention or the practice of opening our mouths about Jesus can seem intimidating for fear of being late to an appointment or missing a candid family moment due to an inconvenient interaction.
In Acts chapter 3, Peter and John are headed to a prayer meeting. On their way to the temple, they are interrupted by a lame man whose only source of income is what people give to him as they pass by. The two Apostles saw this man’s need as a Gospel Interruption and what followed was amazing.
Peter, along with John, looked straight at him and said, “Look at us.” So he turned to them, expecting to get something from them. But Peter said, “I don’t have silver or gold, but what I do have, I give you: In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, get up and walk!” Then, taking him by the right hand he raised him up, and at once his feet and ankles became strong. So he jumped up and started to walk, and he entered the temple with them—walking, leaping, and praising God. All the people saw him walking and praising God, and they recognized that he was the one who used to sit and beg at the Beautiful Gate of the temple. So they were filled with awe and astonishment at what had happened to him.
Peter and John took an ordinary interruption of their daily routine and turned it into an opportunity to make much of Jesus! Through Peter and John’s encounter with the man, a door was opened up for the Gospel to be shared with many other people. In the rest of chapter 3 Peter uses the man’s healing as a chance to share the Gospel with all who were “filled with awe and astonishment at what had happened to him”.
So often we can get caught up in the dream of reaching hundreds or thousands of people in Jesus’ name. It’s easy to get overwhelmed with the seemingly insurmountable amount of work before us and the logistics of being able to reach that many people. Peter and John’s example in Acts 3 shows us that one Gospel interruption from someone could be the spark that ignites a flame of revival in the lives of people God has put around you.
In the same way, Jesus allowed Himself to be interrupted and left His place in heaven in order to ultimately give His life upon the cross for you and I. In the midst of this total act of Gospel Interruption, Jesus was continually interrupted by people and interactions that would seem like inconveniences to us. However, Jesus, knowing that people’s souls are on the line took those interruptions and used them as Gospel opportunities. He did it perfectly as an example for His disciples to follow in.
This week, let’s pray for the following:
- Ask God to help you be “interruptible” for the Gospel
- Ask Him to give you Gospel opportunities
Because Peter and John took Jesus’ words to heart they were simply carrying out the Greatest Commandment. Our love for God translates into a genuine love for people and it is this love for people that allows us to be people who take time for Gospel Interruptions.
• Jesus Changes Lives •
I grew up in a family that did the church thing. Church was a part of the weekly routine and I was fine with that, but I wasn’t satisfied by going to church. So, I looked for satisfaction in other places. I tied my identity and worth to many things. Friends. Boys. Academics. Body image. Church. Partying. I always ended up feeling dissatisfied and a bit misplaced.
Frustrated, I decided to tie my satisfaction to something reliable. Something that I knew wouldn’t fail: Myself. That didn’t work. I set standards for myself that I didn’t always reach. I mean, I was doing well: Top of my class, hitting all my goals, social butterfly, never met a stranger. However, I felt unstable, lost, and was easily irritated.
In all of this, I thought that church was suppose to be some sort of buoy that kept you afloat when things got a little choppy. Why embrace something that wasn’t working? When I looked at Christians and the church I saw hypocrisy. I was tired of people saying they believed one thing and acting in a different way. I questioned the very existence of God in the universe. And although I grew up in a church, and had identified as Christian, I was done.
Despite my distaste for church and Christians, I eventually ended up at a church. I went because I wanted to be liked by some people there. Something about the way these people interacted caught my attention. I noticed that they were living their lives as Jesus taught in the Bible. That was also strange to me.
I stuck around and started listening to what God said through His Word. One day I realized that the Bible wasn’t just a big book of old stories or good ideas. I realized God wanted a personal relationship with me (Acts 17:27). I realized my own hypocrisy and pride. I realized how broken and far from God’s perfect standard I was. Because of my sin, I was separated from God and living in a way that led to death (Romans 7:24). Despite my obvious and not-so-obvious imperfections, God wants a relationship with me.
God loves me so much that He gave His faultless son, Jesus, to die for my sins. Imagine wearing clothes covered by all the trash in the world and every bit of substance ever gargled by a garbage disposal. Then imagine Jesus giving you the perfect outfit, completely white and without blemish, to wear. This is an image of Jesus clothing you in His righteousness when you put your trust in Him. An image of Jesus exchanging His righteousness with our sin. He gave His life for each of us so that we could choose to be close to God (Ephesians 2:13).
God doesn’t ask us to try and clean up before we trust in Jesus. He says that there’s not a life-plan I need to have or criteria I have to meet before I accept Jesus’ free gift of righteousness (Titus 3:5). In the Bible, this truth of God’s love for me is called the Gospel. Before I understood the Gospel I thought that church, friends, boys, hobbies, and achievements were supposed to “fill me up”. Now, I know that Jesus is the only one who can provide true satisfaction. Due to His steadfast promises, I’m now able to enjoy my friendships, family, hobbies, work, and my church in a way that I wasn’t able to before.
Understanding God’s love for me through the Gospel changed my life. Jesus is where we find satisfaction. He is where we find stability. If you want to stay afloat when things get choppy – you look to Jesus. The things in this world are guaranteed to let you down. Jesus won’t. I’m not perfect, I never will be. But trusting in Jesus has given me the stability that I didn’t know existed. I have a hope that doesn’t let me down, a love that doesn’t fail, and I have direction and purpose.
A Word From The Pastors
We are so grateful for all of the prayer and support our team has received during this transitional time. We want to ask you all to take a minute to pray for our team today and ask God for the following:
- The team members that need jobs would find one.
- The team members that need housing would find a place to live.
- The whole team would be on the ground in Fayetteville by mid-summer.
- We would build Gospel-centered relationships.
- People would respond to the Gospel.
- We would find a more permanent place for weekend worship.
Thank you so much for laboring in this work with us!
Building Lives Centered on the Gospel,
Alex & Cody