“So repent (change your mind and purpose); turn around and return to God, that your sins may be erased, that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord.” Acts 3:19
Peter and John were going to the temple to pray when they encountered a crippled man at the gate to the temple. The man waved in Peter and John’s direction, attempting to get their attention. Upon doing so, he asked them to give him a gift. Peter acknowledged the man and replied, “Silver and gold I do not have; but what I do have, that I give to you: in the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, walk!” Acts 3:6
Taking hold of Peter’s hand, the man stood up and leapt forward, going into the temple praising God with steady feet and strong ankles.
All those in the temple watched in amazement at the miracle done in this man’s life. All eyes were on Peter and John, as if this great healing were to be attributed to the work of their hands and the words of their mouths. Peter, seeing this, answered the people in Acts 3:12; “Why are you so surprised and wondering at this? Why do you keep staring at us, as though by our own individual power or piety we had made this man able to walk?”
Peter proceeds on to give honor to God by giving credit to Jesus Christ, glorifying the Son of God who took away the sins of the world. Peter exhorts the crowd to repentance. “…You killed the very Source of life, Whom God raised from the dead. To this we are witnesses.” Acts 3:15
I’m reminded of Martin Luther’s words nearest the top of the “Ninety-five Theses,” nailed to the Castle Church door in Wittenberg. Luther’s exhortation would open the Reformation and call all men to their knees…in repentance. Martin Luther wrote, “When our Lord and Master Jesus Christ, said “Repent”, He called for the entire life of believers to be one of repentance.”
“Dear God, we repent of our sins and look to You, oh God. We turn away from our evil ways and ask for your grace and your mercy to give us new life. We thank you for the blood of Jesus that covers our sins and gives us a relationship with You, oh God, the author and creator of life. Give us today our daily bread, please forgive us our debts as we forgive our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. Yours, oh God, is the kingdom and the power and glory, forever! AMEN”