The Promise of the FatherBro. David Chancellor
10/27/2002 6:00 PM
Then answered Peter and said unto him, Behold, we have forsaken all, and followed thee; what shall we have therefore? And Jesus said unto them, Verily I say unto you, That ye which have followed me, in the regeneration when the Son of man shall sit in the throne of his glory, ye also shall sit upon twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel. And every one that hath forsaken houses, or brethren, or sisters, or father, or mother, or wife, or children, or lands, for my name's sake, shall receive an hundredfold, and shall inherit everlasting life. But many that are first shall be last; and the last shall be first.
This followed after the young ruler had asked what he might do to gain eternal life. The disciples wondered who would be saved, and Jesus told them, Whoever God saves. Peter then asks, Whats in it for us? There are things that well leave behind as we follow Christ. This is a question that comes to mind when we look at all that is left behind. Their perception at this point was not what Christ had come to deliver. They recognized that Jesus was unique, and they were getting in deep. They wanted to know how things were going to work out. When God set up the nation of Israel, he ruled it by judges. These were to be spiritual leaders. What will we have if we follow Christ and make him our all.
The former treatise have I made, O Theophilus, of all that Jesus began both to do and teach, Until the day in which he was taken up, after that he through the Holy Ghost had given commandments unto the apostles whom he had chosen: To whom also he shewed himself alive after his passion by many infallible proofs, being seen of them forty days, and speaking of the things pertaining to the kingdom of God: And, being assembled together with them, commanded them that they should not depart from Jerusalem, but wait for the promise of the Father, which, saith he, ye have heard of me. For John truly baptized with water; but ye shall be baptized with the Holy Ghost not many days hence. When they therefore were come together, they asked of him, saying, Lord, wilt thou at this time restore again the kingdom to Israel? And he said unto them, It is not for you to know the times or the seasons, which the Father hath put in his own power. But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth. And when he had spoken these things, while they beheld, he was taken up; and a cloud received him out of their sight.
This begins to recount how things were with the apostles. Christ had showed himself to them after his resurrection for 40 days. He told them to wait for the promise of the Father. They were still trying to figure out when they were going to get what they were expecting. People, even today, need to get their eyes off the literal kingdom and focus on the spiritual one. The promise of the Father was the Holy Ghost who was to come and dwell in the hearts of the saved. What are you following after? If its not spiritual things, then youll miss out on what Christ has for you. Christ told them that they would receive power. Power is really what most people want. People seeking power in politics and in society miss out on Gods blessings. In Christ we can have all that we need. The power Christ gives is a different kind of power. They were to be witnesses to all the world. If youre endeavoring to live for God, you will have something that you cant get anywhere else.
Now Peter and John went up together into the temple at the hour of prayer, being the ninth hour. And a certain man lame from his mother's womb was carried, whom they laid daily at the gate of the temple which is called Beautiful, to ask alms of them that entered into the temple; Who seeing Peter and John about to go into the temple asked an alms. And Peter, fastening his eyes upon him with John, said, Look on us. And he gave heed unto them, expecting to receive something of them. Then Peter said, Silver and gold have I none; but such as I have give I thee: In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth rise up and walk. And he took him by the right hand, and lifted him up: and immediately his feet and ankle bones received strength. And he leaping up stood, and walked, and entered with them into the temple, walking, and leaping, and praising God.
In chapter 1, they were still asking, What will we have? After they received the Holy Spirit, what they said was, What I have, Ill share with you. They were sharing what the power of God would provide. This got them called before the council. Peter wanted others to have what he had. God has something for us, too. He wont leave us without. We can have the presence and power of God. Money wouldnt have helped this man like the power of God would. The Spirit of God is a greater gift than all these things. Our source of happiness is found in God. Peter had received something. It was the promise of the Father that supplied the desire of the heart and the need of the soul. Just going to church wont do it. You can have the power to walk with and please God. It wasnt just for Peter or the apostles; but for everyone. If theyd received what they were originally looking for, they would have hoarded it. We may hit our limit, but we can draw on God and keep going. There was more in it for this man than physical healing. He got way more than he asked for. The gospel has a wonderful thing to offer humanity: deliverance from sin, and the indwelling Spirit of God. Does humanity know God like they can? Peter found something. They didnt continue to ask Whats in it for me? They began to look for ways to share with others. When we get this from God, everything else should pale by comparison.
Hear my cry, O God; attend unto my prayer. From the end of the earth will I cry unto thee, when my heart is overwhelmed: lead me to the rock that is higher than I. For thou hast been a shelter for me, and a strong tower from the enemy. I will abide in thy tabernacle for ever: I will trust in the covert of thy wings. Selah. For thou, O God, hast heard my vows: thou hast given me the heritage of those that fear thy name.
David was crying out to God. We may feel overwhelmed by everything, but we can call on God. The Comforter is a shelter for us, to help us through difficult to face. The shelter of God kept the apostles through all they faced. There is a heritage that we have. This is a great heritage to leave; its the heritage of those that fear thy name. We have received a great heritage growing up with godly parents. Still, we, too, need the promise of the Father. Our parents cant give us this, only God can. Each soul must find God and receive the Holy Spirit for himself. To know God is the greatest heritage we can have.
Wherefore I also, after I heard of your faith in the Lord Jesus, and love unto all the saints, Cease not to give thanks for you, making mention of you in my prayers; That the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give unto you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of him: The eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that ye may know what is the hope of his calling, and what the riches of the glory of his inheritance in the saints, And what is the exceeding greatness of his power to us-ward who believe, according to the working of his mighty power, Which he wrought in Christ, when he raised him from the dead, and set him at his own right hand in the heavenly places,
Paul prayed that God would give them something. When we pray for the lost, its that God would give them what hes given to us. We want others to have a personal relationship with God. We want them to have the hope that we have the hope of his calling. We want people to know for themselves the power of God. The greatness of the power of God is something to see and know and understand. The power that works in our lives is something to see. We can live and walk with God here and now. There was a transformation in Peter from the time of the crucifixion and the time after the Pentecost. He had boldness and could see something greater. He found out what was in it for him. He found the presence and power of Gods Holy Spirit. Dont settle for less. Seek God until his power and presence rest upon you. Dont let the devil keep you from enjoying Gods presence.