The Gifts Part 21
Acts 3:4-5, “And fixing his eyes on him, with John, Peter said, ‘Look at us.’ So he gave them his attention, expecting to receive something from them.”
There are other aspects of this passage worth exploring besides the extraordinary healing that is about to take place, and since we are discussing it, and it is wise never to miss an opportunity to learn, I want to point out a few key things in this passage that stood out to me upon further introspection.
The first key thing that stood out was the fact that we must respond when someone asks something of us. The lame man that was by the gate asked for alms every day, from everyone that passed by, but chances are he didn’t receive something from everyone, nor did everyone pay him any mind. For some the needs of others have become background noise, something they have learned to dismiss or ignore, but as children of God and followers of Christ when someone asks, we must pause, and respond.
My calling is such that I meet many needy people, men and women, brothers and sisters in desperate situations who require aid. I ask everyone what it is that they need, and since our resources are limited sometimes we don’t have that particular thing, or the funds for that particular project, but we help them out the best way we can, within the limits of our abilities. If you don’t have what someone is asking for, give them something that you have. In the least, when nothing else is available there is still a kind word to be spoken, a hurt be comforted, a prayer to be prayed. Speaking a kind word to someone who is hurting, speaking a word of healing to someone who is wounded, speaking a word of comfort to someone who is desperate costs you nothing, but often times the kind words you speak are worth more to the person in question than any material thing.
We have been so indoctrinated by the materialistic society we live in that we’ve come to believe if we can’t write a check then it’s not worth trying to do anything else. Money is not the end all and be all of life, and many a time a kind word is more valuable than money. There are moments in everyone’s life wherein no material thing can bring comfort or peace or joy, but a kind word just might do what things could never achieve.
As believers we must be full of the word and wisdom of God, so much so that whenever a situation arises, we go to scripture to find that comfort or that peace or that healing balm, and speak it into the lives of others. It has often been said that the Bible has the answer to every question, and although the statement has been repeated countless times it does nothing to minimize its veracity. When we know the word of God, we will speak the word of God into the lives of those who are hurting and broken, and it is the word that will bring healing and restoration into their lives.
Colossians 3:16, “Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom, teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord.”
In order for the word of Christ to dwell in us richly, we must collect it and harvest it daily, hiding it in our hearts, keeping it there not only for ourselves but also for the use of others at the appointed time. Make time to read the scriptures, make time to meditate on the word of God, make time to study and show yourself approved unto God, that when you are called upon to speak His word you will know it. When we neglect the word of God and the reading and understanding thereof it is to our detriment because we are ill equipped when the situation arises that we will have to speak the words of life. If we are children of God, it is not a matter of if the situation will ever arise that we will have to speak the words of life, it is a matter of when.
One thing that troubles me to no end is when I see debates between atheists or agnostics and Christians, and the atheists and agnostics know scripture better than the Christians do. It is a shameful thing, one that is prevalent because we take God and the things of God lightly, and do not consider the consequences of our dismissal of His word.
Psalm 119:11, “Your word I have hidden in my heart, that I might not sin against you.”
Know the Word; hide the word of God in your heart, not only that you might not sin against God, but that you might be that comfort, that balm, that solace, and that salve for the wounded and the broken.
Peter and John could have ignored the man sitting in the dirt by the gate called Beautiful, he was after all a lame beggar, and they were apostles of Christ. It is because they were apostles of Christ however that they did not ignore him as so many had, but bade him to look at them. They possessed the heart of Christ, and as such they could not turn away, pretend they had not seen him, or think the lame man beneath them. Peter and John were servants of Christ, and servants serve all men equally, whether they be rich or poor, hurting or happy, wise or foolish, Pharisee or lowly beggar. Serving all equally sounds easier than it is in reality, because some expect favor whether due to their possessions or position, and when they do not receive it they grow angry and bitter.
The man gave Peter and John his attention, expecting to receive something from them, not realizing that what he would be receiving would be from the very hand of God. All he expected at this point were a few shekels, what he would receive was beyond his wildest expectation.
With love in Christ,
Michael Boldea Jr.