July 14, 2021 - Acts 9:31-43
By simply doing the common everyday activities, we can see the works of God around us. Looking out our kitchen window at different times of the morning or evening we may catch a glimpse of two fawns playing on the lawn. Life is filled with opportunities to both observe and demonstrate the works of God. Likewise, helping a person in need for a moment brings joy into both lives.
Peter had been absent from the pages of Acts as Luke highlights other disciples and the works of the Holy Spirit. Saul was now in his hometown of Tarsus (9:30). The churches of Judea, Galilee and Samaria enjoyed some peace from the persecutions that had been fomenting throughout the region. During this time, Peter traveled again proclaiming Christ to communities near the seaside.
During his travels, he came to Lydda and proclaimed the word of the Lord to the people and a healing took place for a man named Aeneas which caused all the people of the towns of Lydda and Sharon to turn to the Lord (v. 35).
At the same time in Joppa, a village a short distance away, a believer named Tabitha was working and ministering to widows. This woman became sick and died. Peter was called to help. He came, prayed over her, and she was healed. Again, many believe on the Lord and follow Him as a result of these miraculous answers to prayer!
The combination of answered prayer and the powerful working of the Holy Spirit was repeatedly demonstrated in these stories to remind the readers and the church that God is intimately involved in the lives of His people. Christ desires for His followers to actively proclaim Him in their everyday activities. A paralyzed man was healed, and a charitable woman restored because Peter was out traveling the countryside, involved in the lives of people he encountered. While preaching and church services are not mentioned here in this section, Peter continually used the opportunities he was given to demonstrate the living reality of Jesus to the individuals he encountered.
Today, we will have many contacts with people that will lead to open doors of sharing Jesus. Will we be bold, like Peter, and use those everyday common opportunities to introduce people to Jesus? A special memory could be as close as the next encounter with the person you meet!