Make every day a day that really matters. Don’t suddenly wake up and discover your day is gone.
I love stories, don’t you? Especially when the main character starts off in a desolate spot, nothing more than a poor shadow of endless nothingness, and then rises above the fray. The Biblical account of the healing of a crippled man as told in Acts chapter three is absolutely amazing.
The man was down in a big way. His life was headed nowhere fast. And then, he encountered the Lord Jesus Christ. Then it happens. He’s healed and made whole. Fit and well, up and around. What a testimony of God’s amazing grace. And, what an example of how the Lord can use two very simple men who were ready and willing to be involved in things that really mattered.
Some might think life is ordered by likes and dislikes of human want and wish. Not so. Our world is afraid of being bored. We’re so afraid of boredom and silence we even take our cell phones with us to the bathroom. Perhaps we’re afraid any lapse in our business or slow down in activity might cause a major catastrophe. If the truth were told, the things that really matter cannot be calculated, silenced or ignored.
What happened to the crippled man is about the things that really matter. I want this for me. I don’t want my life to float endlessly down a raging river. I want my life to count. And, I know you do too. I don’t want to just get up, go to work, eat my food, watch my show, and consult my iPhone 5,000 times a day just in case I might miss something.
What happened between this man and these two simple men is what I desire. Besides, it’s all in the Bible. It really matters.
So what is it that really matters about this Biblical account?
FIRST, one day really matters. One day, Peter and John went to the Temple to pray. (Acts 3: 1) This was a strategic moment bearing witness to two men deliberately, one day, going to the place where something incredible could happen at any time. This was deliberate and calculated. I think they knew God would do something extraordinary in the place He had made so special.
Growing up I certainly didn’t always want to go to church. My Dad would simply say, “Well, son, you may just miss a blessing.” He was right. And every moment of every day is a gift God gives us. Seize the day! Make every day a day that really matters. Don’t suddenly wake up and discover your day has gone.
SECOND, one man really matters. We don’t always hear the roar of the masses, but people are everywhere. We see them, we drive behind them as they take up the fast lane, and we stand behind them as we wait in long lines. They live next door to us, attend school with us, and, when we turn on our televisions, we hear them all talking – mostly at the same time – never seeming to really listen and always giving their opinions about everything. This makes it even more puzzling as to why we would want to take our cell phones into the restrooms with us. Can we not just embrace silence for a little while? Can we not bring our devices to the dinner table so we can actually see, hear and talk to the people we love? Someone once said the greatest challenge facing every church is they are full of people. There she is. There he is. That one. One little girl; one grandmother in need of a hug; one grieving person; one lonely heart; one lost man. Every one really does matter.
THIRD, one truth really matters. “In the name of Jesus Christ rise up and walk!” (See Acts 3:6) How profound is this? He, Jesus, is what really matters, people. Sure, there are so many things we can talk about. There are so many famous people, famous quotes, famous solutions, but none can hold a match to the Savior of the world. Charles Haddon Spurgeon put it like this, “Every time I open the Book I make a beeline for the cross.” I love this. It orders my priority. It establishes my first things first. Yes, medicine. Yes, counseling, and yes, more exercise, and yes, even my great advice. But none can compare to Jesus alone. One truth, that’s all. Jesus. He is what really matters.
FOURTH, one change. This man did an about face. He encountered two old fashioned preachers who had not even been to seminary. Their dress was less than average and their knowledge of the Greek New Testament was not just hanging by a shred – it was non-existent. But, they went to church one day and saw one man who had a serious deficiency. They were asked if they had a little money, which, perhaps, could have bought the man a little food or some ancient Tylenol, but no. They gave him just one Truth. Jesus. And he was changed for all eternity.
FIFTH, we see one impact. The thing that really matters when just one man hears just one truth and undergoes such a drastic change is the massive impact on others. This is the contagious effect of the gospel message. Look at him and then look at them. People stared, people questioned, people began to discuss – all about Jesus. Just one man changed and the entire local universe got excited. They recognized him because they knew him. They had watched him struggle for years and now they could see something truly wonderful and amazing had happened to him. His story was out. He jumped up and went into the temple, leaping and praising God. (See Acts 3:8) It’s hard to miss a changed life like this.
And finally, one response really does matter. It took a little while but, with these two determined men, it did not matter. Some of the people got really mad about Jesus and all the resurrection stuff. They didn’t want to believe. Some were so upset they turned on these preachers and put them in jail. But, when we are about the things that really matter, others will come to believe. Acts 4:4 is proof that what really matters in life is for people to believe in the Lord Jesus Christ.
The great English cricketer and statesman who became a selfless missionary in far away Africa said it best: “There is only one life to live and that will soon be past. It is only what is done for the Lord Jesus Christ that will last.”
Dr. Don Wilton has served as senior pastor of the First Baptist Church of Spartanburg, South Carolina since 1993. He also serves as president of The Encouraging Word television ministry. TheEncouragingWord.org