YOU CANNOT GIVE WHAT YOU DO NOT HAVE…


Spiritual Blog - Lame Man

 Acts 3:1-10 – “Now Peter and John went up together to the temple at the hour of prayer, the ninth hour.  2 And a certain man lame from his mother’s womb was carried, whom they laid daily at the gate of the temple which is called Beautiful, to ask alms from those who entered the temple; 3 who, seeing Peter and John about to go into the temple, asked for alms. 4 And fixing his eyes on him, with John, Peter said, “Look at us.” 5 So he gave them his attention, expecting to receive something from them. 6 Then Peter said, “Silver and gold I do not have, but what I do have I give you: In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, rise up and walk.” 7 And he took him by the right hand and lifted him up, and immediately his feet and ankle bones received strength. 8 So he, leaping up, stood and walked and entered the temple with them — walking, leaping, and praising God. 9 And all the people saw him walking and praising God. 10 Then they knew that it was he who sat begging alms at the Beautiful Gate of the temple; and they were filled with wonder and amazement at what had happened to him.”  NKJV

 

It has always impressed me that the disciples continued in many of the things of their Jewish tradition such as praying in the temple.  They attended Synagogue and went to the Temple and I am convinced that after their encounter with Jesus and their experience on the Day of Pentecost those times were incredibly special and not a matter of form or routine.  They knew the reason of their prayers personally and had tasted the New Wine of Salvation and the Power of the Holy Spirit in their lives making them walking talking reservoirs of God’s love and power everywhere they went.

On this occasion, Peter and John were going to the temple to pray and although I am quite sure the lame man had been there every other time they passed by, this time, the Holy Spirit empowering them had other plans for that day.  The man was calling out begging for alms and as Peter heard that cry the Holy Spirit arrested him and he stopped.  Some of the things Peter did had to have been inspired by the Spirit of God otherwise, they could have landed him in incredible trouble.

Imagine the situation of the lame man who had been begging for a long time having someone stop and say, “Look at us…”  Without question, the man’s heart leaped within in anticipation.  His heart must have held the expectation of something far more than simply tossing a coin in his cup because Peter called for him to cease crying out and turn his undivided attention to them.  That must mean something big was coming his way in the form of a gift.  Then Peter crushed his anticipation saying, “Silver and gold have I none…”  WHAT?  You are broke and interrupted my endeavor to receive help, how cruel is that?  Peter continues, “… BUT WHAT I DO HAVE, I GIVE…”  I can only imagine what the man thought at that moment if he though anything.  I can only imagine what those in earshot thought as Peter made this proclamation.  “Look at us.  We are broke but we will give you what we have IN THE NAME OF JESUS, rise up and walk.”  Most Evangelist would have said, “Now, see if you can walk or something of the sort,” not Peter he acted in a manner that would have been disaster had it not been inspired of God.  Peter said those words then reached out, took the man by the right hand and pulled him to his feet.  IMMEDIATELY the Power of God surged through his body and he was healed and ran off leaping, walking and praising God.  He shook up the entire crowd and I’m quite sure made quite a spectacle of himself.  Wouldn’t you?

However, you can only give what you have.  You can’t be like those in Acts 19 who watched the exploits of miracles by God through the apostle Paul and copied his actions as well as his words and attempted to cast out a demonic spirit, saying, “…we exorcise you by the Jesus whom Paul preaches.”  The demon responded, “Jesus I know, and Paul I know; but who are you?”  They were trying to give what they did not have and that is an impossibility, especially spiritually.  We become wells without water and clouds without rain when we try to regurgitate what we have heard but it has not become part of us.  SUCH AS I HAVE I GIVE nothing more and nothing less.

            God bless you as you go through this day!

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