The Tabernacle Scroll

Issue 135

‘And a certain man that was lame from his mother’s womb was carried, whom they laid daily at the door of the temple which is called Beautiful, to ask alms of them that entered into the temple; who, seeing Peter and John about to go into the temple, asked to receive an alms. And Peter, fastening his eyes upon him, with John, said, Look on us. And he gave heed unto them, expecting to receive something from them. But Peter said, silver and gold have I none; but what I have, that I give thee. In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, walk’ [Acts 3: 2-6, italics mine].

We are so often awed by the supernatural and the miraculous that we often fail to see some of the lessons they teach. Let us look at this story, for example. Peter and John were on their way to the temple. A beggar who was ‘lame from birth’ accosted them for alms at the temple gate. They had no money to give him. Therefore, they gave him a miracle instead! “That is powerful, awesome stuff!” you say.

There is no doubt that the most striking part about this story is the display of God’s awesome power through Peter and John. However, we can learn something else about this demonstration of power. I believe that at the heart of their power was their attitude of unselfishness. Let me paraphrase their words this way: “friend, we are deficient in meeting your specific request; however, for the glory of God, we are willing to bless you, with whatever other resources God has given us”.

The great lesson to be learned from this is that if you are ready to use such as you have in the way that Peter and John did, then lame lives of every sort can be restored, so that they can ‘stand on their own two feet’.

Dwight Moody, without any formal education, and one of the greatest preachers of modern times, put his heart and soul into his work. During one of his meetings, a fastidious man sitting on the platform said to him “By the way, I noticed you made eleven mistakes in grammar in your sermon tonight!” Moody replied, “That is very likely. My early education was faulty. I often wish I had received more schooling. But I am using all the grammar I know in the service of Christ – how is it with you?”

We must not be critical of others ‘who give their all’. We must also not use the ‘if only’ expression as an excuse for not giving wholeheartedly. By this, I mean wishing for more of everything that is good – more brains, more skills, more money. What we might do if, only we had all those greater gifts, is not important. Neither are we to feel condemned for not using abilities that we do not possess. “Such as I have, I give” is the attitude that counts. You are right if you call it love.

            Devotional                                                                                                                            Preach The Word The Word with Pastor Joseph Rodrigues