God is not concerned with keeping our lameness intact. He's concerned with changing our lameness so we're not lame men anymore. Dr. Tony Evans says once men learn to stand, the Lord can do amazing things.
He wants to give you a miracle for a purpose. This is The Alternative with Dr. Tony Evans, author, speaker, senior pastor of Oak Cliff Bible Fellowship in Dallas, Texas, and president of The Urban Alternative. Today, Dr. Evans says there's a lot more to lameness than the inability to walk, especially for men who need to take a stand for their faith.
Let's join him as he takes a fresh look at a familiar Bible story. We're told about a lame man in Acts chapter 3. The description of the man is given in verse 2. We're told a number of things about this man. First of all, we are told that he is lame. He's a cripple. But we're told he was a cripple from his mother's womb. So ever since he was born, he's been crippled. He couldn't stand on his own two feet, and according to chapter 4, verse 22, the man is 40 years old. So for half of a lifetime, this man was not able to stand up on his own. He was lame from his mother's womb. Now, we don't know all of his sociological conditions, although we will get a hint. But we do know he had to be poor because he was a beggar.
We don't know whether daddy was in the picture or not because only the mother is mentioned. But we do know this. Ever since he was born, he was not able to stand up, so he was never able to man up. And that was a lifetime condition because he's now 40 years old. We're told a second thing about this man. We're told that his whole life depended upon what other folk did for him because it says every day he was carried by other folk to beg.
So we know another thing about him. He's a beggar. That means he's living on tips. He wants other people to put something in his can or something in his jar or something in his hat so he could survive another day because we know he only got enough to live one day at a time. He's a beggar. So he's lame from his mother's womb. He can't stand up. Everybody's got to carry him the way he wants to go next.
He's living on tips. And what's interesting about verse 2 is he was at the church house every day. It says he went to the gate called Beautiful that was at the temple. So now enter two other men, Peter and John. Peter and John are going at 3 o'clock in the afternoon to pray.
Now that's going to be important in a second. They are taking their lunch hour, if you will, to go into the house of prayer, into the temple, to connect with the living and true God. On their way in, they pass by the lame man and then the story unfolds. When Peter and John were about to enter the temple, verse 3, he began asking to receive alms, that is begging for money. So Peter and John are walking in and the lame man says, What about some change? Can you spare a dime or a dollar?
Can you give me a little something so I can make it another day? So the lame man begs Peter and John like he begged everybody else in order to just get a little something something to hold him over for 24 hours until tomorrow he came out and begged one more time. As Peter and John pass by, Peter looks at him along with John, fixes his gaze on him, according to verse 4, and says to the lame man, to the beggar, to the dependent one, Look at us.
I right now need your undivided attention. So when the man hears this, he now, according to the verse, according to verse 5, he began to give them his attention. So he pays attention. Peter said, Pay attention. He says, OK, because why?
Expecting to receive something from them. So he says, If Peter said, Look at me, he may be going to give me something that don't cling. He may be going to give me something that doesn't rattle.
Maybe I'm going to get some paper? Because he said, Look at me. So maybe Peter going to do something something special for me outside of the chump chain that I get from everybody else.
So he pays attention. It says, Expecting to receive some paper money, some dollars. Have you ever gotten a birthday card and shook it, nothing within it? Somebody said to you, Happy birthday. And you shake it, expecting something to come out. And that guy may have the nerve to write on it. That's just the right word.
Happy birthday. And you shake it. Sometimes you shake it twice thinking something got stuck. And then you shake it, you shake it. He says, So I'm going to pay attention because you're going to give me something.
So pay attention. Peter says to him, I do not possess silver and gold. Oh, you got you got to be kidding me. You're going to tell me pay attention then you're going to tell me you ain't got nothing. You're going to tell me, you know, the bank is broke.
I have not silver and gold. You've asked me for money and I can't help you. See, far too many lame people and lame men are thinking money is going to solve their problem.
If I can make more money, if I can get a better job, nothing wrong with legitimately making money, nothing wrong with having a job that is productive, nothing wrong with that. But when you lame and the doctor can't heal you and life has turned left on you, there are some things money came by. And so he says silver and gold. I don't have that.
But then he adds to it in verse six. But what I do have. I don't have what you asked for. You asked for money. You asked for arms.
But I have something. In fact, what I have, money came by. Far too many men are praying for the wrong thing. They're praying for a better job. They're praying for more money. They're praying for more clout. They're praying for more notoriety. They're praying for the wrong thing. They're praying for stuff when God wants to change the person. And when God can't change you and you only want stuff from God, you got it backwards.
Stuff is okay as long as God has given stuff to the right person. All this guy wanted was enough to keep his lameness intact. God is not concerned with keeping our lameness intact.
He's concerned with changing our lameness so we're not lame men anymore. So what Peter says is, I got something, but it's not what you asked for. What I have, I give to you in the name. Somebody say in the name. In the name of Jesus Christ the Nazarene, walk.
In the name of Jesus Christ the Nazarene, stop being lame anymore. I want you to get up and stand up on your own two feet. I want you to stop depending on everybody else to man up where you should stand up. I want you to stop being irresponsible. I want you to stop being lame. I don't just want to give you a tip so you can stay lame. I don't want to give you leftovers so you can stay irresponsible. I want to give you that which will enable you to move on your own two feet.
So I have something for you, but it's not what you asked for. In the name. So let me talk about the name. Names matter because they were designed to fit the reputation or the character of the person or place that is named. So when you look at something that has a name, it's giving you something that has to do with the reputation or the character of the person or place that receives the name. So let me tell you why this name matters in this context. In chapter 4 verse 7, when they had placed them in the center, they begin to inquire of Peter and John, by what power or in what name have you done this? So they're telling the man to walk. The leaders want to know under whose authority and in whose power and by what name did you tell this lame man to walk?
Now, why do I want you to know that? Because the word name is associated with the word power. Name, power.
They want to know what power has a name attached to it that you could tell this lame man to walk. So now when you read in chapter 3, in the name of Jesus walked, they were literally saying by the power of Jesus walked because the name was tied to the power associated with the name. Let me show you Peter's response in chapter 4. Peter responds in verse 10, Let it be known to all of you and to all the people of Israel that by the name of Jesus the Nazarene, whom you crucified, whom God raised from the dead, by this name, this man stands before you in good health. Verse 12, And there is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven that has been given among men whereby you must be saved. So when they tell the man to walk, they tell the man to walk by the name or according to the power that belongs to Jesus Christ.
But then Peter and John move from talk to action. Dr. Evans will tell us that part of the story when he continues our message in just a moment. Stay with us. I'm standing here in Alaska, one of the most glorious places in God's great creation. And I want to invite you to join me and our Urban Alternative family for the Alaskan Cruise. We're going to have a magnificent time in God's Word and in God's creation. We're going to enjoy great fellowship, great fun, great food, and I'm looking forward to meeting and greeting you on our TUA Alaskan Cruise. Register to be there.
Can't wait to be with you. To find out more about this unforgettable Alaskan Cruise, visit tonyevans.org today. That's tonyevans.org. Before we get back to today's message, I'd like to tell you about our current featured resource. It's Tony's powerful book, Kingdom Men Rising, and it goes hand in hand with the talk we've been listening to today. Far too many men have been weakened by the false definition of what it means to be a man, coming from a culture that's at odds with God's biblical blueprint.
Well, Kingdom Men Rising looks beyond phony stereotypes, helping men understand who they were created to be and how they can rise up to the task and responsibilities God has given them. Get your own copy of this powerful book. We'll send it to you as our gift when you help support Tony's work here on the air and around the world by making a contribution to the ministry.
And as a special bonus, we'll include all 12 lessons on both CD or digital download from his current series by the same name. Get all the details at tonyevans.org before this limited-time offer runs out. That's tonyevans.org. Or call 1-800-800-3222. I'll repeat that contact information for you after part two of today's lesson. Here's Tony. All right. So he tells him to get up and walk.
Oh, but it's getting gooder. Verse 7. And seizing him.
Hmm. Seizing him. That means grabbing him. The seize is the grab. So he pronounces the power of God but he doesn't sit there with his hands folded waiting for this man to be zapped from heaven.
No. What this man ran into were two men who were not lame because they were walking who were willing to grab a man who couldn't walk didn't think he would ever walk but introduce him to Jesus Christ and then grab him and make him walk. We got a generation of men out here where somebody need to grab. The problem is the wrong folk been grabbing them and they've been grabbing them, taking them in the wrong direction. Has there been spiritual men, godly men, kingdom men grabbing? There's been cultural men, societal men, crazy men that's grabbing them.
Peter didn't just pray. It says he seized him. He grabbed him and we're not going to let you stay here.
We're not going to let you stay in this ridiculous state for 40 more years. So they grabbed him. But the good news about the man is he allowed himself to be grabbed.
See that's his side. They grabbed and he became grabbable. There are a lot of grabbable men out here if they could only find a Peter and John willing to grab them. Cause see a lot of folk use Jesus name illegitimately. Peter said in the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, walk. The people in the New Testament, even in the book of Acts who use the Jesus name and nothing happened. There's power in the name, but the power in the name can only be used by a person who bears connection with the name.
Every man is to passionately pursue a intimate personal relationship with Jesus Christ. So when you use the name, he'll share the power. Jesus doesn't share the power.
You say, I'm trying to change my wife or change my kid. And I call on the name of Jesus and nothing happens. Well, God wants to know what's the connection like because you can't expect your appliances to work if they're not plugged in to some power. Peter says, what I have, I give to you. Cause I'm so connected to the name that he's going to allow me to piggyback on the power so I can help another man who is lame himself.
Oh, but it gets gooder. Cause it says, seizing him by his right hand, he raised him up and immediately his feet and his ankles were strengthened. So there is a crippling problem that he was born with. And then there's unused muscles for 40 years.
So he's got a physical problem and a weakness cause there's no strength in his limbs. But when the power of Jesus set in, it says immediately, you mean without a 12 step program? You mean this didn't take years of counseling to get right? God overcame 40 years of lameness in a minute. Whenever God wants to show off, if I can use that phrase, whenever he wants to show out, he will not do something progressively, he'll do it on the spot.
See, that's why you need to know who you're dealing with. You say, well, nothing has happened yet. Okay, but you have to understand, God doesn't need time. He needs purpose. And sometimes he will not let things slowly progress. He will let them stay in a state until you are ready for a supernatural infusion of his presence. This man has been 40 years, but it took him 40 years to be ready for this moment. And at the moment that he was ready, God connected him with the two men who had access to the power.
So if you're here today and you're a lame man, you better find some Peter and Johns who are praying men on their way into the temple, who refuse to let you stay in your stupor, in your lameness. You say, well, my father beat my mother and he had an anger problem and I'd inherited his anger problem. You better find two men who know how to control their emotions, who don't have to cuss after every other word to make their point and let those men grab you. You say, I ain't gonna let no woman tell me what to do. Good.
Then you better find some men bigger than you who can tell you what to do so that you can no longer live in lameness. Because who knows, you may be an immediate person. That God wants to turn it around on the spot and you want to know how did that happen? When God wants to move, he can move quickly and immediately because that's how much power is in the hand of the risen Christ. And so it says his ankles and his feet were strengthened, a supernatural infusion of power. Verse eight, with a leap, he stood upright and began to walk. The man leaps up and when the man leaps up, he enters the temple with them, walking and leaping and praising God.
And that's interesting. You mean you haven't gone to the Bible Institute yet? Praying to God? Let me tell you what will ignite your prayer life when God gives you a testimony.
When God gives you a testimony, you don't need a program. The man jumped up right then and said, Where y'all going? Peter and Joseph, we're going to pray. I'm going to pray with you and I'm going and I'm getting my praise on. Because see, when God moves in your life, you don't need to be cute anymore.
You don't need to be saditty and sophisticated. When God has done his thing in your life, you're going to let it be known and I'm going to declare to God, I don't care who's listening, I don't care where I'm at. Do you know this whole prayer meeting changed? Peter and John were going into one prayer meeting. When this man showed up, the whole prayer meeting changed. And I know the prayer meeting changed because of what happened in chapter four. Everybody started talking about what happened in this lame man's life who was immediately transformed. And according to chapter four, verse four, here's what we read. But many of those who heard the message bleed and the number of the men came to be about 5,000. No, you didn't.
Wait a minute. Peter and John started ministering to one lame man. A few minutes later, 5,000 brothers get saved. That's because when God gives you a testimony, he wants you to touch somebody else. When God gives you a testimony, he wants other men in your circle of influence to get saved and to get transformed. So if all you're doing is coming to church service and all you're doing is coming to a prayer meeting and you can't show other men who've been changed because you got your praise on and you were not ashamed to be identified with Jesus Christ, then you have missed the purpose of the miracle.
He wants to give you a miracle, but he wants to give you a miracle for a purpose. So the good news is if you're 40 years old, it's not too late because God can meet you in the middle of life and turn the rest of your life around. The good news today is even if you've never won anybody to Christ, God can use you to help win 5,000 more to Christ if you just get your praise on and stop being ashamed to name the name of Jesus Christ.
Come on, somebody. There ought to be a man here who's willing to give testimony that I have committed my life to Christ, I follow Christ, and I'm getting rid of my lameness starting today. Are you ready to give up your lameness and make the commitment Dr. Evans was talking about just now? The Bible describes Jesus standing at the door of our hearts, just waiting for us to invite Him in. When we do, everything we've ever done wrong is forgiven, and a whole new life begins. There's no other way to make it to Heaven, so you owe it to yourself to find out what that invitation is all about.
Visit tonyevans.org and click on the link that says Jesus. Tony will explain everything you need to know, and you'll be able to download some free follow-up materials. So do it today. And when you do, don't forget about that special offer I mentioned earlier. If you help us continue this broadcast by making a donation to the ministry, we'll say thanks by sending you all 12 messages in Tony's current series, Kingdom Men Rising, along with his powerful book by the same name.
This is a limited-time offer, so don't put it off. Just reach out to our resource center at 1-800-800-3222. Team members are standing by around the clock to help you. That's 1-800-800-3222, or visit tonyevans.org. Blessings come from God, but not just from God. Tomorrow Dr. Evans will touch on the importance of the blessings we pass on and what to do if they were never passed on to us. I hope you'll join us. The alternative with Dr. Tony Evans is brought to you by the Urban Alternative and is made possible by the generous contributions of listeners like you.
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