May 20, 2020

Where Are You Placing Your Faith?

Acts 3:11–26

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Peter Speaks in Solomon's Portico

11 While he clung to Peter and John, all the people, utterly astounded, ran together to them in the portico called Solomon's. 12 And when Peter saw it he addressed the people: “Men of Israel, why do you wonder at this, or why do you stare at us, as though by our own power or piety we have made him walk? 13 The God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, the God of our fathers, glorified his servant1 Jesus, whom you delivered over and denied in the presence of Pilate, when he had decided to release him. 14 But you denied the Holy and Righteous One, and asked for a murderer to be granted to you, 15 and you killed the Author of life, whom God raised from the dead. To this we are witnesses. 16 And his name—by faith in his name—has made this man strong whom you see and know, and the faith that is through Jesus2 has given the man this perfect health in the presence of you all.

17 “And now, brothers, I know that you acted in ignorance, as did also your rulers. 18 But what God foretold by the mouth of all the prophets, that his Christ would suffer, he thus fulfilled. 19 Repent therefore, and turn back, that your sins may be blotted out, 20 that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord, and that he may send the Christ appointed for you, Jesus, 21 whom heaven must receive until the time for restoring all the things about which God spoke by the mouth of his holy prophets long ago. 22 Moses said, ‘The Lord God will raise up for you a prophet like me from your brothers. You shall listen to him in whatever he tells you. 23 And it shall be that every soul who does not listen to that prophet shall be destroyed from the people.’ 24 And all the prophets who have spoken, from Samuel and those who came after him, also proclaimed these days. 25 You are the sons of the prophets and of the covenant that God made with your fathers, saying to Abraham, ‘And in your offspring shall all the families of the earth be blessed.’ 26 God, having raised up his servant, sent him to you first, to bless you by turning every one of you from your wickedness.”


[1] 3:13 Or child; also verse 26
[2] 3:16 Greek him

Where Are You Placing Your Faith?

Key Verse | Acts 3:14-15

But you denied the Holy and Righteous One and asked for a murderer to be granted to you, and you killed the Author of life, whom God raised from the dead. To this we are witnesses.

Bio | Jake Black

Hi, I'm Jake, a very-soon-to-be licensed driver—so watch out! I have a Super Dad, a Wonder Mom, and a younger brother (Duke "Kaboom"). My family has been attending Watermark since we moved from Houston (Go Texans/Astros/Rockets) to Dallas in 2009. I've loved growing up through all of the children's ministries at Watermark. Now, I have the privilege of serving with my dad at On Your Mark, Watermark's ministry for second and third graders. Lastly, animated movies rock, and everyone needs to know Olaf is the best Disney character ever—and that's a fact!

Central Truth

Jesus, God's Son, died for our sins. We must remind ourselves of this truth daily and place Him first in our lives, turning away from things that can become idols.

Devotional | Acts 3:11–26

Peter has just healed a lame beggar, and a large crowd of astonished and curious people has gathered. Peter addresses the crowd in an abrupt way by asking them, Why are you so astonished? This was not done...

Peter has just healed a lame beggar, and a large crowd of astonished and curious people has gathered. Peter addresses the crowd in an abrupt way by asking them, Why are you so astonished? This was not done by our own power, but through the power of Jesus.

He then reminds them that they saw Jesus perform miracles, yet they still handed Him over to be executed. Peter calls them out as sinners and tells them to repent and turn toward God. They are choosing the path of death, but Peter is trying to persuade them to choose the path of life through Jesus; He is the way, the truth, and the life (John 14:6).

This is applicable today, because every day we make a choice to "choose" Jesus or to "choose" the things of this world. We tend to deny "the Holy and Righteous One" when we stray from His path and pursue our own worldly desires. Often, we choose a path full of idols instead of following Jesus, because we are sinners and very similar to the people that killed Jesus. We neglect Him daily by pursuing the things of this world instead of things that are holy and eternal. We are also saying we don't care about Him when we commit idolatry, whether we acknowledge it or not.

Idolatry is defined as "the worship of a physical object as a god" and "immoderate attachment or devotion to something." Idolatry can take many forms; but when we put things of this world over our deep need and desire to grow closer to our Savior, we are committing idolatry. Focusing on technology, social media, relationships, material items, sports teams, and other things can all become idols in our life that are never fully satisfying and distract us from God.

Therefore, Peter's words were true then, and they are true today: Jesus died for our sins. Romans 5:8 says, "[B]ut God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us."

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Discussion Questions

1. What idols are distracting you from your relationship with God (phone, work, relationships, sports, pride, acceptance, etc.)?

2. Do you think that you are committing idolatry by putting these things above God?

3. What actions can you take today to place God above these idols?

4. Are you trying to hide your sin from God and other people (lust, anxiety, depression, etc.)? Why?

10 Comments available

Scott Self 3 months ago

Nice work, Jake.

We’re big fans of the Black family. Especially Duke Kaboom!

Michael Scaman 3 months ago

“God will raise up a prophet like me” was Moses talking and the occasion was Mt Sanai and the law, given with thunder and darkness it was frightening

The people begged God would talk to Moses not them and Moses would pass on what god said. And so, God told Moses it was good they asked this and God would send another, who would be Jesus

Robert Owens 3 months ago

Your message reveals you have understanding and wisdom beyond your years … well done and Thank You Jake. Robert Owens Mason County

Shawn Foster 3 months ago

Well done Jake! You are wise beyond your years. I think idolatry is one of America’s biggest sins. You nailed it, and people create a false image of ‘god’ to suit themselves and don’t even know it. Although my phone is amoral, it can be a weapon of mass distraction. Good to confess and renounce our sins because “Nothing in all creation is hidden from God’s sight.” Anyway, right?! Heb 4:13 We can Place God above these idols by devoting daily, asking for His marching orders with a heart that trusts that His will is good, pleasing and perfect! Thanks again, I’m sure your parents are proud.

Greg Jones 3 months ago

Is Luke telling us this lame man is truly healed? Or is he hinting at something else? The condition of the man in v11 doesn’t sound like the same condition of the man in vv6-10.

From leaping and walking he has gone to “clutching” Peter and John.

V12 “why do you stare at us like we healed him?” Well Peter, I stare because Luke makes it sound like the man will fall over if he stops clutching you. And that makes me question your ”made strong” and ”perfect health” statements in v16.

I would so like to ask Peter, “after the arrest it’s you and John at the house of the High Priest, right?“ “So here,(v14)when you say, ‘You, denied the Holy and Righteous One’, it sounds like, you, as in, not I or us, denied Him” “What’s going on with you and John in the Temple right here?”

Greg Jones 3 months ago

Hey Jake welcome to the roadways, be careful out there and watch out for other drivers! Most of us have never caused an accident that was our fault.

Hey, how bout them 2nd and 3rd graders too!

Sue Bohlin 3 months ago

Thanks, Jake. Hope you’re enjoying driving!

Today’s passage includes one of my new favorite words, “restoring.” The Lord impressed the word “restore” on me when we read through the entire Bible in 2015, and it turns out He was preparing me for the unexpected HUGE blessing of restoring the privilege of standing and walking again, pain-free (through hip replacement surgery). Daily I literally walk in the awareness of God’s goodness of restoration, which is an exquisite blessing on the other side of loss–BIG loss. And it points me to the unimaginable beauty and power of when Jesus will renew and restore all things. He promised in Revelation 21:5, “Look! I am making all things new.” As the Jesus Storybook Bible puts it, there is coming a time when “Everything sad has come untrue.”

Hope Harris 3 months ago

Part 1 I am focused Peter and John’s experience. It seems like they are caught up in a whirlwind. A lame man walks! A crowd converges and they preach that the healing happened because of Jesus and the authority He commissioned them with. See Luke 24:44-48

If had been me the healing would have sent adrenaline pulsing through my veins. Would I have had the presence of mind to quickly and calmly address a crowd that included Jewish leaders men had sent Jesus to cross?

Their message pointed to the identity and significance of the Lord Jesus Christ. Peter and John stood in a calm boldness confidence inspired by the Holy Spirit as they addressed the group.

Hope Harris 3 months ago

Part 2

I am called to boldly proclaim who Jesus is and what He has done in my life. To share my story of redemption; about God hating out loud lesbian encountering Jesus, giving my life to Him and being restored to the woman God created me to be.

Not in a in your face, yelling at the top of my lungs sort of way. Rather in calm confidence sharing of a good and loving God, who changed me from the inside out.

I get to do just that this morning as I address Christian Educators at a Diversity Symposium. Prayers that God would use my words to equip these folks to point their students who struggle with same-sex attraction or are gay identified to Christ.

Hugh Stephenson 3 months ago

A friend tells the story of a guy who announced his wife was divorcing him. When asked why he replied, “I don’t have a personal rewind button”.

Repentance isn’t rewind or redo, but it can lead to redemption and even reconciliation.

Verse 21 refers to “the time for restoring all things”. That’s the Big One. Restoration.

I have learned that God will not rewind or redo, but He may give me redemption and He promises restoration.

I am re-reading and annotating Phillip Keller’s book on Psalm 23. Late last year the prodigal crazy show came back to our house. I was hugely convicted of my own failures as a shepherd and how God was allowing the consequences to teach me.

Could He restore these relationships? Yes, with the sorrow that leads to repentance, (2 Corinthians 7:10).

Months of sleepless nights with hours of prayer and journaling have shown great progress.

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