Times of Refreshing
Memorial day is just around the corner. It’s going to be in the 90’s this week. Schools are winding down for the year. All that means one thing…. Vacation season! Some folks have already gotten a jump on it. Vacations can be a great way to experience “times of refreshing.” In Acts 3, Peter tells a crowd that had gathered following the healing of a lame man that they could experience “times of refreshing”, but it had nothing to do with going on vacation.
The truth is, everybody wants to experience refreshment in life, and we search for it in lots of places… vacations, naps, hobbies, sports, reading, shopping and more; but all of those endeavors have one thing in common. They are all temporary. How can we experience true, soul refreshment and how can we offer it to others?
1) True refreshment comes in and through a faith relationship with Jesus Christ!
19 Repent, then, and turn to God, so that your sins may be wiped out, that times of refreshing may come from the Lord, Acts 3:19
We can find lots of ways to experience temporary refreshment in this world; but there is only one way to find true, soul refreshment. In Acts 3, Peter and John get an opportunity to offer life change to a man who had been lame since birth; then they get a chance to offer “times of refreshing” to many who were far from God.
2) When you see an opportunity to offer someone refreshment, seize it! (Acts 3:1-5)
Peter and John had their eyes open for where God was working and when they saw an opportunity, they seized it! They were very intentional about connecting with this lame man, looking him in the eye and virtually demanding that he look them in the eye too. (Acts 3:5)
I wonder if most people who passed by this man gave him any attention? Let’s face it, most probably looked right past him; most of us would have. Peter and John weren’t about to look past him; they wanted to look right at him! Why? Because they wanted to connect with him.
3) To lead someone to experience true, soul refreshment, connect with them. (Acts 3:4-5)
There is a problem today with authentic “connections”. People think they’re connecting, when they’re not. We live in an increasingly digital world; yet God created us to live, not digitally, but relationally. That is, to be in real relationships, not virtual relationships. I’m concerned that we’re losing those authentic connections and the opportunities for life change that come with them.
To connect with someone, look them in the eye! A virtual connection is not the kind of connection God has in mind for us; limiting ourselves to virtual connections can handicap our ability to lead someone to experience “times of refreshing.”
Peter and John were very intentional about making a connection with this man, and we we can be intentional about connecting with others too! How can we do that?
Build bridges with people who are far from God for the purpose of leading them to Christ. Get to know people in your sphere of influence… neighbors, folks you work with or work out with, classmates and teammates. Build bridges to make connections.
Invest in them… Get to know them and their needs. Take them to lunch, dinner or for a cup of coffee. Invite them to play golf or go fishing. Serve them in some way. Take them a welcome bag or a care package from Watermark. Meet them right where they are in the same way Jesus would. Offer to pray with and for them.
Share a verbal witness… Tell them about the difference Christ has made in your life… the guidance, the hope, the purpose He offers you every day!
Offer them true, soul refreshment that comes in and through Christ!
4) Give credit where credit is due! (Acts 3:11-12)
Peter didn’t want those people to think it was him who made this man well. Jesus deserved all the credit! Do you give God the credit for all He has done in your life? Sometimes we fall to give Him the credit He richly deserves!
5) Depend on Christ’s will and His power to help you experience refreshment! (Acts 3:16-19)
A lot of people are desperate for life change, refreshment; but they try to accomplish it on their own power. And over and over again they discover how futile will power alone can be. Peter knew that the power that led to dramatic life change for this man didn’t come from him. It came from Christ and he wanted everyone to know it!
The healing of the lame man drew a huge crowd to Solomon’s portico and it opened a door for Peter to share the gospel. The disabled man was afflicted physically; but Peter made clear that those there that day were afflicted spiritually. They needed healing too and it would come through faith in Jesus’ name.
The truth is, we are all crippled spiritually without Jesus. We are desperate for refreshing! Our spiritual healing comes only in Him. 19 Repent, then, and turn to God, so that your sins may be wiped out, that times of refreshing may come from the Lord, Acts 3:19
For much more, click here to listen to Multiply - Part 3 - How to Experience Refreshment.