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Thursday, April 26, 2012

I Ain't Got No Money, But I Do Got Jesus!

These two guys, Peter and John, were always together.  We first find them fishing together when they are called by Jesus (Lk 5:10), they were both in the inner circle of Jesus' disciples that witnessed the transfiguration, the healing of Jarius' daughter, and in the garden of Gethsemane, and they were sent together to prepare the Passover meal the night Jesus instituted the Lord's Supper (Lk 22:8). 

They are heading to the temple because there are no buildings built for Christians to publicly worship yet.  The temple is still the place of meeting, but it soon becomes the place of conflict.  I read somewhere that the first type of place wasn't constructed until after 125 A.D. in towns east of Damascus, don't quote me on that.  They are headed to the temple at the ninth hour for prayer.  This practice of prayer three times a day is frequently mentioned in scripture.  Daniel did it out of habit. Dan 6:10.  Ps 55:17 carries it back to the time of David as well.  Those who desired more were not limited to that either. Ps 119:164

While on their way they see a lame man who daily was carried to this door to beg for money, so to speak.  He was basically asking for support due to his condition.  There would have been a multitude of people there at this time to witness what was about to happen.  This man asks alms from Peter and John.  He obviously has his head down when Peter tells him to look at them.  Peter is trying to give the guy some hope and he wanted his undivided attention.  It was common to look the other way as you passed a beggar and Peter was letting him know that this was about to be very different.  This time there will be compassion!  

I find the next part extremely funny.  Peter gets the beggar's attention, looks this lame beggar in the face, and says, I'm broke.  I'm sorry but that is funny to me.   Now about Peter, what a change we see today huh?  Peter is incorrectly thought to be the first Pope.  Here we see him physically broke but able to heal a lame man from birth.   His usurping "successors" of today can't heal a common cold by themselves but are very rich.  That is the exact opposite of Peter.  Makes you wonder doesn't it?  

Peter tells him he has something better than money, he has Jesus Christ.  I want you to know that the greatest gift you can give a person is sharing Jesus' saving power. When you tip a waitress or waiter don't just give money, give them info on Jesus.  The best of friends will get you to the feet of Jesus.  

This miracle was done "in the name of Jesus" which means "by the authority of" or "by virtue of the power derived by Him."  I love the fact that we are told to be baptized in the same authority or powerful virtue derived by Jesus today.  They didn't physically see a change take place in the lame man's body did they? NO!  They only knew of Christ's healing and saving power was by the way he walked afterwards.  The same with baptism.  We can't physically see us being born again of the water and the spirit. Jn 3:3-5 We can't see the sins removed.  We can't see the gift of the Holy Spirit. Acts 2:38 We can't see us being added to the Lord's Church.  Acts 2:47 NKJV We can't see our names being written in  the Lamb's book of life. Rev 20:15; 21:27 The only thing we know is that after we are immersed into Jesus' death, burial, and resurrection we are to walk around in the newness of life. Rom 6:4

Many people were probably present to see this man walking, leaping, and praising God.  Can you imagine the feeling in this man?  HE CAN WALK!!  He was lame since birth and he was over forty years old.  Acts 4:22  I would be running around telling everybody and anybody who would listen.  For those of you who know me, I would even try too tell those who wouldn't listen.  Remember, this is the time of prayer, people are probably solemnly approaching the temple.  Then there is this guy leaping around and they realize it was that lame beggar, what a surprise!

Acts 2:43 states that many signs and wonders were being done.  Have you ever wondered why the Lord chose this one to be in our Bible?  I have and the best solution I can come up with is because of what happens after this is done.  We see in chapter four that this miracle resulted in persecution.  God doesn't hide that fact that His children will face persecution. 2Ti 3:12  Joseph, Daniel, and Jeremiah were all thrown into a pit for sharing the truth!  There will be times of these tribulations, even Jesus said that in Jn 16:33.  If people aren't mad at you for sharing the truth, you probably aren't sharing the truth.  I always say if you aren't suffering any type of persecution you probably aren't doing it right.  You probably look so much like the world that the world doesn't know you are a Christian.  If the people close to you do not know you're a Christian, God probably doesn't either!  These times are all worth it my friends. Rom 8:18

Today, make sure we are sharing the love and saving power of Jesus Christ.  There will be consequences for sharing that truth, but it will be worth it in the end.   This economy has many people hurting financially but we can still give spiritually!  May your message be that of Peter's in Acts 3.  "I do not possess silver of gold, but what I do have I give to you: in the name of Jesus Christ..."   Remember, we are not called to approve how people live.  We are called to go, preach, baptize, and teach. Mt 28:19,20  Go to someone today, preach Christ crucified, baptize them in the name of, or by the authority of, Jesus (Mt 28:18), and then we can teach them how to live as Christians.  We far to often skip the first three and expect the world to live as Christians and that shouldn't be!


We must hear the Word of God:  Rom 10:17; Acts 4:4

We must believe or have faith:   Heb 11:6; Acts 16:31

We must repent of our sins:  Lk 13:3; Acts 17:30

We must confess Christ before others:  Mt 10:32; Acts 8:37

We must be immersed into Christ (baptized) Mk 16:16; Acts 2:38

We must be faithful:   Rev 2:10; Acts 14:22    

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