This morning we continue our new series for this “Year of Expectation.” To get a better understanding of the type of expectation I see in my heart, that God wants me to communicate with you, we are going to look at a passage in Acts 3 today. The Bible says:
One afternoon Peter and John were on their way to the Temple for the three o’clock hour of prayer. A man who had been lame from birth was being carried along in the crowd, for it was the daily practice to put him down at what was known as the Beautiful Gate of the Temple, so that he could beg from the people as they went in. As this man saw Peter and John just about to enter he asked them to give him some money. Peter looked intently at the man and so did John. Then Peter said, “Look straight at us!”
The man looked straight at them, expecting to receive something!
“If you are expecting silver or gold,” Peter said to him, “I have neither, but what I have I will certainly give you. In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, walk!”
Then he took him by the right hand and helped him up. At once his feet and ankle bones were strengthened, and he positively jumped to his feet, stood, and then walked. Then he went with them into the Temple, where he walked about, leaping and thanking God. Everyone noticed him as he walked and praised God and recognised him as the same beggar who used to sit at the Beautiful Gate, and they were all overcome with wonder and sheer astonishment at what had happened to him.
(see Acts 3:10)
So what does this mean to you today? A few things.
1. Life can get mundane.
a) The man in our text (Acts 3) was born lame. He had never walked a day in his life. People had to carry him to the temple daily. He was laid at a gate called “beautiful,” but his life was far from it. He could not work to earn a living, so he begged for money. Since he was relying on people’s mercy, he strategically positioned himself outside of a place where he thought people would have mercy on him. When he looked at himself in the mirror, I am sure he thought, “This is not the life I wanted.”
b) Many people today can identify with this man. They may be able to walk, but like this man, they are going through a daily routine that is not getting them anywhere. They get up, check email, go to work, check email, come home, check email, watch some TV, and go to sleep. The next day they get up, rinse and repeat. If that’s you this morning, let me assure you that this is NOT God’s best for your life. It is time for you to lift your expectations.
2. You must lift your expectations beyond the mundane.
a) The text says that this man asked Peter and John for money. At the beginning, this encounter was no different than the hundreds of encounters he would have every day. He asked people for money, some would say “yes,” some would say “no,” (nicely or not-so-nicely) and some would simply ignore him. He was not sure what Peter and John would say, but things changed when Peter said, “Look straight at us!” When the lame man looked at the Apostles something happened on the inside. The Bible says, “The man looked straight at them, expecting to receive something!” Did you catch that? He asked for money, but when he opened his heart to receive, he did not expect money. He expected to receive “something!” He elevated his expectation. He opened his heart to something new. As a result, he got his breakthrough. That day his life was changed forever. Not only did he walk for the first time, but he left the encounter jumping, leaping and praising God!
b) If you are not careful, life can get mundane to the point where you lower your expectations or you have none. In this season God wants us to LIFT our expectations. He wants us to remove any artificial limits we have ever placed on Him. This is our time to believe. This is our time to open our hearts to the impossible. There is nothing God cannot do. He is the God of NO LIMITS. If you have limits on God, then you have placed artificial limits on a limitless God. It is time to remove them! This is your season! This is your time! Like the man in the text, lift up your eyes to heaven and EXPECT TO RECEIVE SOMETHING!
Father, this is a season of expectation for me. I open my heart to believe and receive ALL You have planned to do in my life in 2018. I remove every artificial limit I have ever placed on You. Nothing is impossible for You. Therefore, nothing is impossible for me. You live in me. I am ONE with You. You gave me Your best when You gave me Your Son. Your Word says, that along with Jesus, You will freely give me all other things. There is nothing that You will withhold from me that aligns with my purpose. So Father, I am open to Your best. I lift my heart in expectation. I enter this day and every day EXPECTING TO RECEIVE SOMETHING! I declare this by faith. In Jesus’ name, Amen!
This is Today’s Word. Apply it and prosper!