Times of Refreshment
By Pastor Ben Wedeking
In Acts 3, Peter and John, on their way into a prayer service at the temple, encounter a man lame from birth, who is begging for money. In that time, there was no disability or other services for the physically impaired, so the only way to make a living was to beg on the streets. When he saw Peter and John, he saw them like anyone else passing through, a possible agent of mercy and compassion. He had no idea that they were about to be so much more.
Peter and John looked at him and instead of giving him some coins in his basket, spoke with authority in Jesus’ name and the man was instantly healed. Everyone in the temple who sees this miracle are dumbfounded. Peter, seeing a crowd gathering, takes the opportunity to preach about Jesus. He shares about Jesus’ life—how He was born into the world to destroy the works of the devil through preaching, teaching and healing. Peter also shares about His death on a cross, an unjust execution for which we are all culpable. For you see, Jesus died on the cross, for you and me—to forgive us of our sins.
The apostle Peter goes on to explain why all this happened and what it means for our lives. He tells the crowd to repent, which means to turn around in our thoughts and actions, essentially to start over and turn towards God. Peter says repent and your sins will be washed away and times of refreshment will come. Think of it! Through Jesus, our sins are washed away and times of refreshment come.
Refreshment in this passage from Acts 3 is a word that means to relieve trouble or to dry out a wound through breathing over it. It is a word that is used in the Old Testament to refer to rest for slaves in Egypt, the calming of a tormented mind, and relief from a plague of croaking frogs.
Today you stand with an opportunity to experiences these times of refreshment – to have the croaking frogs of guilt and shame silenced in your life, to have the lies of a tormented mind washed away by the love of Jesus Christ, to experience rest for your weary souls. Knowing this good news, what is keeping you from repenting right now and giving your life to Jesus? I pray that you will do just that and experience the healing and forgiveness that God has for you.