Act 3:1-10 Now Peter and John were going up to the temple at the hour of prayer, the ninth hour. And a man lame from birth was being carried, whom they laid daily at the gate of the temple that is called the Beautiful Gate to ask alms of those entering the temple. Seeing Peter and John about to go into the temple, he asked to receive alms. And Peter directed his gaze at him, as did John, and said, "Look at us." And he fixed his attention on them, expecting to receive something from them. But Peter said, "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!" And he took him by the right hand and raised him up, and immediately his feet and ankles were made strong. And leaping up he stood and began to walk, and entered the temple with them, walking and leaping and praising God. And all the people saw him walking and praising God, and recognized him as the one who sat at the Beautiful Gate of the temple, asking for alms. And they were filled with wonder and amazement at what had happened to him. (esv)
I have recently started a new Bible study and the first part is to begin in the book of Acts and read the first five chapters. Once I have read the chapters I will begin to memorize the titles within the chapter. Each week I add five more chapters and when it is all said and done I will have read all of the New Testament and memorized all of the titles within the books... That sounds like a lot of work, what have I got myself into? Ok, let's just start with Acts chapters 1-5.
As I was reading through the first five chapters in Acts I came across this passage in Acts 3. It really got me to thinking about how I treat people and especially those I encounter on the streets that are deemed the least desirable. As Peter and John were approaching the temple they ran into a beggar who was a pretty common fixture at the gate. When the lame man asked for money, rather than brushing him off and telling him to essentially go away, they offered him Jesus Christ. They looked at him and with authority told him to rise and walk.
Now here comes the part that I was really impacted by... Not only did they give this lame man a dose of Jesus, but they also walked along with him into the temple praising Jesus. The stopped, shared the Lord, picked him up, and walked along side him praising our Savior. Boy do I fall short of that. I can't even tell you how many times per week I get approached by beggars and I either ignore them or brush them off with a "Sorry, I can't help you."
I have learned a lesson from the book of Acts today that will impact me forever. I will keep you updated if I heal any lame beggars, or just share the love of Jesus with them... Either way, I really see that the way I have been treating them is definitely not the way the Bible shows me to.
Lord, forgive me when I see someone who is in need of you and I only look at them as a nuisance. Please do a work in my heart so I can impact the lives of those I encounter each day on the streets.