Day 19: Keeping The Main Thing...The Main Thing (Acts 9:32-43)
Today’s Passage: Acts 9:32-43
I recently had a great opportunity to speak. It was challenging, exhilarating, and fun.
Keeping “even” with the other demands in my life was stretched because of the energy needed to respond to this opportunity.
I had a similar opportunity that I declined. The folks got upset with me. It wasn’t that I didn’t love what they were up to. It wasn’t that it wouldn’t be challenging, exhilarating, and even fun.
Rather, it was that I would get distracted from “the main thing”. For me, the main thing is fourfold: Love God, love my wife, family and world, obey God, and share Him by sharing His Word.
Today in Scripture we read of two amazing miracles. A long time paralytic and a dead woman. The text goes out of its way to emphasize the length of time each person has been in their situation. One man has been in bed for 8 years. Another person is dead to the point where the body has been washed and it is well along the way towards burial.
Both people are restored.
Do you have friends that you want restored? I do. I imagine all of us do.
Reading about these miracles can evoke in us a variety of reactions. We might be in awe of God’s power. We might pray that our loved ones would have a similar restoration. We might long to have the gift of healing the way Peter does.
These are all legitimate desires and completely understandable.
Do we desire that everyone would believe in Jesus Christ and be reconciled to God? Before you answer “Yes” too quickly, is it the deepest desire of your heart, and my heart?
And look, I know, even as I type these words, I am feeling like the little kid whose parent is pointing out the obvious, so of course I agree…but that is not what I am trying to do.
I have to pray (a lot) for God to keep the desires of my heart in line with what the Bible teaches.
Some of those prayers are to keep me from desiring things which everyone knows are sinful. The other prayers are to keep my motivations for good and godly things pure.
When we pray for people to be healed, what is our motivation? Certainly it is to relieve suffering. But can it also be that people would come to know Jesus?
I ask because in the text, in verses 35 and 42, it says many came to believe in the Lord.
I completely expect Peter was moved with compassion for the people he came across. I also know from what we read about Peter’s life, that the main thing, was others coming to know Jesus Christ as Lord.
It was the burden of his heart—preaching, healing, etc. were the means God gave him.