Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: Rich (04/26/12)
TITLE: The Beggar's Treasure
By LisaR Rider
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A small boy leaned forward in church. He was listening. Oh my- he was listening. His granddaddy had told him that those who seek treasures find them in church. The little boy didn’t really understand, but he knew one thing: he wanted to find treasure; he wanted to be rich like the pirates of old.
Gold, silver, diamonds… the boy’s imagination ran wild. How he dreamed of the treasures that were safely hidden somewhere in the recesses of that old building! Was there a map? He listened intently to the old preacher; he just knew somewhere in all of those words there lay a clue.
A young woman snuck in the church just in time for the pastor’s greeting. She hoped no one noticed as she tried to sit up straight and look like all of the other congregants. Today, however, was the first time she had ever stepped foot in a church. She was tired of living poor. She had sold herself time and time again, simply just to survive. Soon, she would give birth to her own child. How could she manage on her own?
The frightened woman had decided to make a change. She had heard on the streets that some of the big churches would help people like her. She closed her eyes and listened to every spoken word.
The church’s beloved pastor stepped forward. “Today I share a familiar story from the book of Acts…”
“There was a beggar who was unable to walk. Others brought him to sit by the temple gate each day. He would beg for alms as he sat there hour after hour. Imagine how he felt: he had not asked to be born a cripple. His mind was good and strong; he could have accomplished so much had he been born with two healthy legs. He would have made a shrewd business man. He could have been rich.
Peter and John were heading into the temple when the beggar asked them for money. Instead, Peter implored the man, ‘Look at us.’
The crippled man did as he was told because he thought that the two men before him would give him something. However, Peter continued, ‘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!’ 1
As Peter helped the man up, the man who had never walked stood with two strong legs beneath him! He had received something far more valuable than a few coins! He was healed!”
The unassuming preacher paused. “So many of us need healing. Cancer thrives; relationships fail. We are a broken people and we need to be healed. We can ask the Lord to heal a broken body, fix a broken relationship, or even pad our wallets with wealth. But what we really need is a treasure far greater than these earthly concerns.”
A small boy nearly slid off the wooden bench as he leaned forward at what seemed like a clue. A frail, pregnant woman found herself captivated at the thought of receiving a treasure.
“You see, my dear friends, my doctor told me this week that I am very sick. I only have a few months left here on this broken planet. I’m not afraid, for at my departure from here, I will enter the home my heavenly Father has prepared for me. My imagination cannot fathom the beauty that lies before me. The day that God called me and I received His gift of eternal life was the day that I understood that I needed spiritual healing more than I needed a daily coin in my basket. We are told to ‘seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.’ 2
Listen- God will take care of your needs and even some of your wants. He cares about those things. Yet, your relationship with Him is what He’s really concerned with. You need a Savior. You need to know that you will spend eternity in His presence, surrounded by His beauty. It is then that you will find real treasure.”
Excitement leaped in the heart of a small boy, who finally understood what Granddaddy was talking about. Tears rolled down the face of a dear, young woman who felt hope for the first time in a long time.
Oh- the richness of the Living Word…
1 Acts 3:6 (ESV)
2 Matthew 6:33 (ESV)
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