The Gifts Part 26
Acts 3:8, ‘So he, leaping up, stood and walked and entered the temple with them – walking, leaping, and praising God.”
There was no denying that something wondrous and miraculous had occurred in the lame man’s life. For the first time in his existence he knew what it was to walk, he knew what it was to leap, and he praised God with all the enthusiasm of one who has received a gift beyond measure or expectation.
When we are healed spiritually, the evidence is just as undeniable as it was for the lame man. Once spiritual healing has occurred, it is evidenced by the fact that we begin to walk spiritually, and enter into the Temple of holiness and truth and unceasing praise to God. One cannot receive such a great gift and remain void of emotion; one cannot receive such mercy and remain unaffected.
What I found interesting in this verse is that Luke was quick to tell us that the lame man, once he leapt up and stood and walked, entered the temple. His first action after having received healing was to praise God and walk with the apostles. The lame man knew from whence his healing had come, he knew from whence his unexpected miracle had come, and leaping with joy he entered the temple. It is important for us as believers to know where our blessings come from, acknowledge it, and praise God for it.
We have been taught, and tragically so, that if we accomplish anything it is our own prowess that does it, if we succeed at something it is our own diligence that does it, if we achieve what we had hoped it is our own ingenuity that does it, distancing ourselves from the notion that it is God who works all things together for the good of those who love Him.
We have taken something that rightly belongs to God, we have taken the credit that ought to rightly be appropriated to Him, and we have seized it, placing it squarely upon our own shoulders, looking in the mirror with a smug smile thinking ourselves wiser than we really are. When after trusting in our own strength and failing miserably however, we are inclined to blame God for our failures, shake our fists toward heaven and lay the fault at His feet.
James 1:17-18, “Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow of turning. Of His own will He brought us forth by the word of truth, that we might be a kind of firstfruits of His creatures.”
Every good and perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father. If you are shown favor, it is a gift from God, if you are shown grace it is a gift from God, if you succeed where others have failed it is a gift from God, if you experience healing and restoration, it is a gift from God. Know that it is God who has given you this good and perfect gift, and be ever grateful to Him, praising Him for His goodness and boundless love as the once lame man did.
The lame man didn’t thank Peter or John; he did not praise them for this great miracle that had occurred in his life, he praised God. Even one such as him, a man lame from birth who lay in the dirt hoping that someone would show him charity, knew enough to know that man could not do what had been done to him, that man could not make whole that which had always been broken.
We cannot give man more glory than is due him, nor can we appropriate that which God has done and suppose that we have done it ourselves. God is the source of every good and perfect gift, and it is God we must thank and praise and worship.
Given this present generation’s propensity to take the credit wherein no credit is due it, I wonder what it would have been like if the lame man would have been healed in our day and age, and at the hands of a televangelist to boot.
I realize it sounds a little farfetched, but somehow I can see the televangelist chasing down the once lame man, asking him to give an interview as to how he had healed him, and then ask for a seed offering for good measure. Afterwards, of course, without doubt, there would be an endless and ongoing media blitz wherein the lame man would be ushered from one show to the other, being reminded in perpetuity to thank the televangelist for what he had done for him.
The lame man entered the temple with Peter and John praising God. They were equal in health, they were equal in stature, and they went into the temple with the singular purpose of bringing praise to He who is deserving of all praise and honor.
The lame man was grateful to the One who was Master of both Peter and John, to the One who worked the miracle through them, and not to the vessels themselves. There is so much wisdom in what the lame man did, and it is a worthwhile lesson for us all. Do not honor the vessel, do not praise the vessel, do not lift up the vessel, honor and praise and lift up the Master who fills the vessel instead.
Once healed the lame man could not contain himself, he leapt about and praised God. There was no shame, there was no awkwardness, there was no sense or feeling that he was making a fool of himself or that others were watching, he expressed his gratitude and his adoration toward God, and since leaping was all he could do, he leapt.
Is what God has done for any of us any less than what He did for the lame man? Then why are we not praising Him with like passion and fervor? Just a thought!
With love in Christ,
Michael Boldea Jr.