Realizing the presence, promise, and power of the Kingdom of God.
The Scriptorium

Wonder and Amazement

Signs of the Kingdom. Acts 3.9, 10

The Kingdom among Us: Acts 3 (3)

Pray Psalm 126.1-3.

When the LORD brought back the captivity of Zion,
We were like those who dream.
Then our mouth was filled with laughter,
And our tongue with singing.
Then they said among the nations,
“The LORD has done great things for them.”
The LORD has done great things for us,
And we are glad.

Sing Psalm 126.1-3.
(Truro: Shout, for the Blessed Jesus Reigns!)
When God restored our fortunes all, we were like those who sweetly dream.
Our mouths with joy and laughter filled, made Him our constant song and theme.

Then the astonished nations said, “The Lord has done great things for them!”
Indeed, great things our God has done, Whose Name we praise, Amen, Amen!

Read Acts 3.1-10; meditate on verses 9 and 10.

Preparation

1. What did “all the people” know?

2. Why were they “filled with wonder and amazement”?

Meditation
Well I guess! Wouldn’t you be filled with “wonder and amazement” at such a thing? We note that the people “saw him walking and praising God.” The life of faith is meant to be flaunted, displayed, proclaimed, and celebrated. It is not merely a private affair, as some of Christianity’s detractors might like.

The healing power of the Gospel releases energies of joy and worship that come to the attention of the watching world when they are put on display in the everyday settings of the world. Most folks in this situation had come to the temple to praise God. They were doubtless planning to do so formally, as a group, following a prescribed liturgy or program. Then leave. This man’s praise was so genuine, earnest, and constant that people flocked to see the fuss.  They recognized the man lame from birth, and saw what he was doing; please remember: these folks had passed by this fellow every day for years, so they were “filled with wonder and amazement.” 

The Kingdom comes with distinguishing signs, signs so wonderful, so out of the ordinary, that people who observe them cannot help but question and be amazed. Primary among these are the changed lives of believers and the beautiful and joy-bringing ministry of the Church. Let our sad and cynical world begin to glimpse these once again, and wonder and amazement won’t be far away.

Treasures Old and New: Matthew 13.52; Psalm 119.162
The Kingdom among us will be seen when we employ the word and.
As in “walking” and “praising” in our Personal Mission Fields.

It is good to walk in the Lord. These verses confirm that:
The Lord will say to us, “This is the way, walk in it” (Is. 30.21).
We are to “walk humbly” with our God (Mic. 6.8).
“For we walk by faith, not by sight” (2 Cor. 5.7).
“Walk in the Spirit, and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh” (Gal. 5.16).
“And walk in love, as Christ also has loved us and given Himself for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweet-smelling aroma” (Eph. 5.2).
“…that you may walk worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing Him, being fruitful in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God…” (Col. 1.10).
“…and they shall walk with Me in white, for they are worthy” (Rev. 3.4).

Praise is also a noble endeavor:
“…the people shall praise You forever and ever” (Ps. 45.17).
“Let the peoples praise You, O God; let all the peoples praise You” (Ps. 67.3).
“My praise shall be continually of You” (Ps. 71.6).
“Blessed are those who dwell in Your house; they will still be praising You” (Ps. 84.4).
“From the rising of the sun to its going down the LORD’s name is to be praised” (Ps. 113.3).
“Seven times a day I praise You, because of Your righteous judgments” (Ps. 119. 164).
“Great is the LORD, and greatly to be praised; and His greatness is unsearchable” (Ps. 145.3).
“Praise the LORD! For it is good to sing praises to our God;
for it is pleasant, and praise is beautiful” (Ps. 147.1).
“…You are my praise” (Jer. 17.14).
“Then a voice came from the throne, saying, ‘Praise our God, all you His servants and those who fear Him, both small and great!’” (Rev. 19.5)

Now combine the two, and people might be “filled with wonder and amazement at what” has happened to us!

And better yet, what can happen to them. Walking and praising God stirs the hearts of those who observe it.
“Then they knew…” (Acts 3.10).

“Let our sad and cynical world begin to glimpse these once again, and wonder and amazement won’t be far away.”

For reflection

1. In what ways is it visible in your life that Jesus has healed and raised you up?

2. People insist they can’t walk and chew gum at the same time. Could you “walk” and “praise” the Lord more consistently than you do? Explain.

3. How can Christians encourage one another to more consistent walking and praising the Lord as part of the ongoing work of Jesus in their lives?

How sweet the thought to our souls, that in respect to all the crippled faculties of our fallen nature, the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth can make us whole! With what holy joy and rapture shall we tread the holy courts, when God the Spirit causes us to enter therein by his strength! Matthew Henry (1662-1714), Commentary on Acts 3.1-11

Pray Psalm 126.4-6.
Pray that God would deliver His Church from its captivity to culture, convenience, and the status quo, and that His salvation may flow forth from His people to cause the world to wonder and be amazed.

Sing Psalm 126.4-6.
(Truro: Shout, for the Blessed Jesus Reigns!)
Restore our fortunes, Lord our King! Let grace like flowing streams prevail.
All they with tears of joy shall sing who sow while yet they weep and wail.

They who in tears of sorrow sow and cast their seed on every hand,
with joy shall reach their heav’nly home, and bring the harvest of their land.

T. M. and Susie Moore

You can listen to a summary of last week’s Scriptorium study by going to our website, www.ailbe.org, and clicking theScriptorium tab for last Sunday. For more about what Jesus is doing at the right hand of God, order a free copy of our book, What in Heaven Is Jesus Doing on Earth? (click here).

You can download any or all of the studies in this series on Acts by clicking here.

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Except as indicated, all Scriptures are taken from the New King James Version. © Copyright 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved. For sources of all quotations, see the weekly PDF of this study. All psalms for singing are from The Ailbe Psalter (Williston: Waxed Tablet Publications, 2006), available by clicking here.

T.M. Moore

T. M. Moore is principal of The Fellowship of Ailbe, a spiritual fellowship in the Celtic Christian tradition. He and his wife, Susie, make their home in the Champlain Valley of Vermont.
Books by T. M. Moore

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