Such As I Have — Morning Devotions - Hope 103.2

Such As I Have — Morning Devotions

Then Peter said, “Silver or gold I do not have, but what I do have I give you. In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, walk.”

By Chris WittsMonday 19 Feb 2024Morning Devotions with Chris WittsFaithReading Time: 1 minute

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We read in Acts 3 today that Peter and John went to the temple at three o’clock in the afternoon. It was the hour of prayer, and there at the beautiful gate, as it was called, was a man who’d been lame all his life.

Each day he was carried to the gate to beg for money, and when he saw Peter and John, he begged them to give him something. They looked straight at him and Peter said, Look at us. He looked at them expecting something. But Peter said, I have no money at all, but I give you what I have. In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, I order you to get up and walk, and he took him by his right hand. He helped him up, and at once the man’s feet and ankles were strong. He jumped up. He stood to his feet and started walking around. He went into the temple with them, walking and jumping and praising God, and the people saw him there, and they recognised him as the beggar who sat at the beautiful gate. They were surprised and amazed.

It’s a great story. It’s the old biblical story there. And when Peter came to that temple, he came across this man who wanted help. But it’s interesting to note if you have a look at Acts 3:1-10.

What did Peter say? He said, Look, I’ve got no money, but what I have, I’ll give to you.

So wouldn’t it be a natural thing, I guess, to seek help from people who are going into the temple to pray and to worship? Peter and John. They were the two followers of Jesus. They didn’t just ignore this man or cross the other side. Others had probably walked past, annoyed by his presence for so many years, and the layman had expected some financial help.

But the gospel story tells us that he received that day something infinitely greater, two strong legs on which to stand so he could help himself. Now, perhaps some of those people going into the temple that day they might have thrown a few pennies into the lap of this poor man. It was probably the easiest thing to do.

It kind of calms the conscience. At least you say, Well, I’ve done something and they could then get on with the business for the day they’d come to worship God, after all.

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And I think it’s true of life isn’t it? It’s easy to give a quick fix solution to someone in need. Give them a few dollars. It’s far more difficult to share ourselves with people. That’s not easy to share our love or our sympathy to share our understanding with someone else and to even share our religious experience.

I read recently that the doors of every church should swing inward to the experience of worship and outward to the experience of service. And I think that’s true. So why not take a few minutes today to look around and see people who are lonely, who are frustrated or defeated? There are many people today who have lost hope and courage, and they feel probably like that man there at the gate. Beautiful, forgotten by God and man.

Don’t these people have a right to look to Christians and to the church for help? I think they do. If we don’t help them, who will?

So they came to that gate for a new lease on life, and Peter and John had something really great to share with this man. It wasn’t money, but they gave of themselves. It wasn’t always that way. I’m thinking of job, this great drama in the Old Testament. Some very sad words here where Job said in Chapter six – “My friends, I am desperate. You should help me, but you’re as treacherous as streams that swell with melting snow and then suddenly disappear in the summer heat. I’m like a traveller, said Job, lost in the desert while searching for water.”

That’s Job 6:14-18. He was going through a very difficult time. His faith was shaky. He was very angry with God and with other people, and he wasn’t being supported by those who really should have known better. He needed a friend who would encourage him, not make judgmental statements or criticise him.

There could be a friend or family members who felt, you know you’re wandering in the desert and Job felt his supporters were just empty streams dried up and there it is. Jesus spoke at another time to the woman at the well and had said to her. The water that I give will be a well of water springing up into everlasting life. So have I got something worthwhile today that I can share with a needy person rather than just a few dollars?

Let’s Pray

We thank you, dear Lord, for the stories from the New Testament that help us to understand how great your love is. And Lord, it’s a challenge to us to care for people. And we know that we can do that because your spirit lives in us. So I just pray you’ll help us to think through these issues, and I offer it in the name of Jesus. Amen.