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Sunday, May 7, 2006

Acts 4:8-12

Peter, filled with the Holy Spirit, said:

"Leaders of the people and elders: If we are being examined today about a good deed done to a cripple, namely, by what means he was saved, then all of you and all the people of Israel should know that it was in the name of Jesus Christ the Nazarene, whom you crucified, whom God raised from the dead; in his name this man stands before you healed.

"He is the stone rejected by you, the builders, which has become the cornerstone. There is no salvation through anyone else, nor is there any other name under heaven given to the human race by which we are to be saved."

Peter and John healed this man in the authority of Jesus, and now Peter speaks clearly and strongly to Ananias, the high priest and killer of Jesus. Again he stands in the authority of Jesus, and he is not afraid.

As Jesus rises into heaven, he says, "All authority is given to me in heaven and in earth." And he tells his disciples to go in that authority, and change the world. They have been filled with the power of God, with the Holy Spirit. And just as Jesus sent them out twice before, to act with power and authority in places where "Jesus was about to go" (Luke 10:1), he assured them that he would be with them every step of the way.

When Peter stepped out, Jesus backed him up. When Peter spoke out, Jesus backed him up. Peter received the gift of faith, and when he acted in faith Jesus backed him up. And every time it happened, Peter's faith grew.

Does this happen for me too? Of course it does. When I step out, Jesus backs me up too. He sends me where he's about to go himself, and just as I start to pray, he shows up. Wow.

What does this look like? I think it means I pray more than ever for people to be healed, for people to know Jesus, for the Holy Spirit to be released and the evil spirits to be expelled. John Wimber said we should pray healing for 200 people, and then decide whether or not God shows up when we pray. How are we going to know otherwise?

One of Wimber's comments about his relationship with God...he was praying, and feeling pretty good about himself, and he heard God whisper, "Thanks for showing me your ministry, John. Now. Let me show you mine."

Life is full when I walk with you, Jesus. To the brim and overflowing. Day after day after day.

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