Welcome back to our online Inductive Bible Study on the book of Acts, “The Holy Spirit Unleashed in You” at the Women’s Bible Cafe™. We just completed Week Three, “Bound by Your Humanity–Or Unleashed by His Spirit? We studied and observed Acts Chapters 3, 4 and 5. In Chapter 3, I love the story of the lame beggar man sitting outside the temple at the gate called “Beautiful.” Everyone knew who he was, because he was lame since birth and was carried to the gate day after day, week after week, month after month and year after year so he could beg for alms.
How ironic that he lay outside a gate called “Beautiful,” because nothing beautiful ever happened here. People would step over him or walk around him, passing him by, not giving him the time of day, until one day a beautiful miracle occurred, the lame man is healed by a spoken word…
Peter said, “I do not possess silver and gold, but what I do have I give to you: In the name of Jesus Christ, the Nazarene–walk!” Acts 3:6
What power there is in the name of Jesus! Just by a spoken word, the crippled man was healed by faith, and for the first time in his life, he walked inside the temple. I have read this story so many times, but after studying it again this past week, I was shamefully convicted. How many times have I walked past and around someone in need? I have seen beggars standing on the street corner of a busy traffic light holding up a sign, “homeless and hungry,” but I’m too busy to stop and help, staring straight ahead, not wanting to make eye contact, waiting for the light to turn green. I know something should be done, but I rationalize it by thinking, what can I do? Perhaps someone else will stop and help.
How about you? Where do you see yourself in this story? Perhaps you identify with the lame man…you may not be physically crippled, but you may be spiritually and emotionally broken and stuck in the same place, day after day, week after week, month after month, and nothing ever seems to change. But there is good news! No matter where you find yourself in this story, there is hope found in the powerful name of Jesus. Through Him healing happens and lives are transformed. Through Him what is broken is made whole again, and what was once ugly is made beautiful.
Kay Arthur writes in the Thought for the Week:
“In all the busyness of life, in all the busyness for God, have you strayed from what God intended for you as His child, His witness? You cannot excuse yourself from the call to be His witness.”
Ouch! This really struck a nerve! That is exactly what I have done…made excuses. So what do we do now? We need to be willing and ready for any opportunity for ministry God may put in our paths, whether it’s helping that homeless person on the street corner, or just lending a listening ear and giving a comforting word to someone who is struggling spiritually or who may be in deep emotional pain. Whatever our calling is to help opens up an opportunity to minister and proclaim His message.
ASSIGNMENT FOR THE WEEK:
- Join a small group and fellowship with your fellow Bible students.
- Complete your study of Week Four, “Do You Know God’s Priorities?
- Pray before you begin your study. Ask your resident Teacher, the Holy Spirit, to open your heart to wisdom and understanding to learn His truths.
- Store in your heart Acts 4:12, “And there is salvation in no one else; for there is no other name under heaven that has been given among men which we must be saved.”
DISCUSSION QUESTIONS FOR THIS WEEK (answer in small groups or post a comment here)
Ice Breaker Question: Name a gift you will never forget.
- According to Acts 3:16, the lame man’s faith allowed him to be healed, but he never asked for healing. He asked for what he knew they could do—give him alms. Where do we fall short in our faith, even though we believe God can do great things? What purpose did the healing of the lame man serve?
- How would you and your church respond to a beggar on the steps of your church?
- What do you have besides financial resources that you could give to God’s work?
- What did you learn about the Holy Spirit this week that had a great impact on you?