Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Acts 3:16

     "By faith in the name of Jesus, this man whom you see and know was made strong.  It is Jesus' name and the faith that comes through Hi, that has given this complete healing to him, as you can see."   (NIV)

     At the time of this occurrence, Jesus had been crucified, died, and had risen again.  And now the apostles were preaching the gospel and performing miracles in His name through the power of the Holy Spirit.

     Peter and John were on their way to Temple for afternoon prayer when they saw a beggar who had been crippled since birth. The beggar asked them for money; but, Peter replied, "Silver and gold I do not have, but what I do have I give to you. In the name of Jesus of Nazareth, walk." (Acts 3:6).  Then Peter held the beggar's right hand and helped him to stand. The mans feet and legs became strong.  He stood... walked...ran!  Jumped for joy!  And praised God.

 Since it was customary for everyone to go to Temple for afternoon prayers, there was a large crowd of people who witnessed this miracle of healing. Peter spoke to the crowd, giving all the praise and glory to God. He seized the opportunity to explain that Jesus was the Messiah foretold by the prophets, that He had been unrecognized by many of His own people, had been crucified and resurrected.  Now that He had risen and visited upon the apostles, Peter and the other apostles were able to heal in His name and power!
     There are a few things we can learn from this incident which occurred a couple thousand years ago:

#1: The Torah had not been abolished after Christ's death and resurrection.  The apostles and the rest of the crowd were going to Temple for afternoon prayer, as always. These people were still going to Temple, eating "Kosher", and following the Torah.
#2: Peter could have ignored the beggar when he asked for money.  It would have been easy to simply walk on by, especially since Peter didn't have any money... Nothing to offer... No sense in getting involved... Not so when the Holy Spirit is walking with you!

#3: The beggar asked for money - that's what he WANTED.  God gave him a miraculous healing - THAT was what he NEEDED. Sometimes we need to recognize the difference between what we want and what we truly need.  Ask God for wisdom and discernment. And, don't put God in a people-sized box!  He can do so much more than give us a coin with which to buy a crust of bread!
#4: Both Peter and the beggar gave praise to God for the healing.  How easy it would have been to accept even a small part of the credit!  But Peter knew and acknowledged that all the honor and glory belonged to the Lord.

Do you give the Lord your thanks and praise every day?  Do you praise Him when things are going well?  How 'bout when things are just so-so?  Aren't you still protected and out of harms way?  Praise God from Whom  ALL blessings flow!

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