Tuesday, March 25, 2014 Better Then Gold
The boys dropped him with a thud. The sound echoed in his empty, broken heart. I've got to make some money today, or they won't bring me to the gate tomorrow.
He was at the gate to the temple, the Beautiful Gate. All around him people scurried from here to there. They hardly gave him any notice.
He sighed. Using both hands for support, he pushed himself out of his crumpled heap and into a sitting position. Then he cupped both hands, and slid them under one leg. He grunted as he strained to use what little upper body strength he had to lift his leg and re-position it straight in front of him. There. Moving on to the next leg, he winched as his index finger cut against a sharp rock. He dropped his left leg into place, and whipped the blood from his finger onto this tunic.
Day after day he begged for alms. "Alms for the poor!" he cried. "Alms for the lame!." he cried. "Silver, gold, or anything you can spare," he'd beg. He'd long ago stopped praying for healing. Money was what he needed to survive.
He spotted two men making their way to the gate. They certainly weren't rich, but they looked like the kind of men who would give some extra money to a lame man. In the name of good works and all that stuff.
"Alms!" He held up a little clay pot for emphases. So far it was empty, but hopefully his luck was about to change.
The man on the right locked gazes with him. He had fire in his eyes, and a confidence in his step that made him green with envy. If only...
They stopped in front of them, and the man with the fire eyes spoke. "Look at us."
His eyes shot up, his usually thank you spiel and blessing on the tip of his tongue when the man started to speak. "I have no silver and gold, but what I do have I give to you. In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, rise up and walk!"
Walk? He was kidding right? He needed money. Not empty promises.
But for some reason, he did what the fire man said. He tried to push himself up, and gasped when one leg, and then two legs braced themselves in the dirt. He was standing! He was standing! How was this possible? His feet and ankles felt strong, and his legs supported him like they'd been doing it since birth instead of the exact opposite.
He leaped into the air! Oh, how he'd always wanted to do that! He alternated from jumping, walking, and praising God. Jump. Walk. Praise God. For it was God who had healed him. This Jesus of Nazareth was God. The two men hugged him, and introduced themselves. "I'm Peter," Peter the flaming eyes motioned to his companion. "This is John. Would you like to come into the temple with us?"
Based on Acts 3:1-8
Do you ever think about what Peter says? "I have no silver and gold, but what I do have I give to you. In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, rise up and walk!"
He didn't say it in a mournful tone, "Oh, woe! I have no silver and gold. Let's see, oh wait! I have Jesus. I guess I could give you that. It's not gold. Um, maybe you could try walking? Maybe Jesus will heal you." He said it like, "I am going to give you something awesome. It's better then silver and gold. In Jesus' name, rise up and walk!" There was no doubt or regret in his words.
If Peter had had silver and gold, what do you think he would have done? Would he have dropped some coins into the collection pot? He was giving. He was blessing. He was making a difference in this guy's life; But, he wasn't giving Jesus.
We live in a world where money is what matters. Do we forget about the life-changing power of Jesus? Or do we hide behind the temporary power of money?
It wasn't that Peter was giving all he had. He was giving all that mattered. Silver, gold, cash, checks, and credit cards may be practical to give, but it may not be what's really needed. That man needed an encounter with Jesus. How do we bless those around us? Giving money, food, shelter, and a helping hand are all good things to give, but do we hide behind those things? It's easier to donate money to a charity then to take a two month mission trip to tell others about Jesus.
"One gives freely, yet grows all the richer; another withholds what he should give, and only suffers want. Whoever brings blessing will be enriched, and one who waters will himself be watered." Proverbs 11:24-25
If you give Jesus freely, then you are going to grow in Jesus. If you only give what you have to give, then you are going to be left wanting.
Take a step out of your comfort zone, and bless those around you with Jesus. Be crazy and focus on what someone's soul needs! Give Jesus because He is better then gold, diamonds, and gift cards.
P.S. Check out SnackPackDevotionsForKidz.blogspot.com