Devotional: August 4, 2020
One day at three o’clock in the afternoon, Peter and John were on their way into the Temple for a prayer meeting. At the same time there was a man crippled from birth being carried up. Every day he was set down at the Temple gate, the one named Beautiful, to beg from those going into the Temple. When he saw Peter and John about to enter the Temple, he asked for a handout. Peter, with John at his side, looked him straight in the eye and said, “Look here.” He looked up, expecting to get something from them.
Peter said, “I don’t have a nickel to my name, but what I do have, I give you: In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, walk!” He grabbed him by the right hand and pulled him up. In an instant his feet and ankles became firm. He jumped to his feet and walked.
The man went into the Temple with them, walking back and forth, dancing and praising God. Everybody there saw him walking around and praising God. They recognized him as the one who sat begging at the Temple’s Gate Beautiful and rubbed their eyes, astonished, scarcely believing what they were seeing.
The man threw his arms around Peter and John, ecstatic.
Acts 3: 1-11 The Message
This familiar story from the Book of Acts is inspiring. Two of the disciples were going to a prayer meeting at the Temple. On the way, they encountered a beggar. They could not offer him money, for they had none. Yet Peter healed the beggar, who then got up and began walking, dancing, and praising God. It was a miracle!
We see people in our day become healed from things that were supposed to be fatal. The word “miracle” is often used to describe the recovery, but I’m not always sure that those who use the word “miracle” truly understand the power of that word. Here, Peter helped heal this crippled man through his faith in Jesus. Peter literally helped lift up the cripple man.
We may also give the gift of lifting someone up. We can lift people up, with our words, and our actions. In conversations with others, we often have the choice to be encouraging, or discouraging. Both negative and positive conversations can have such a different impact on others. The next time you engage in conversations with someone who feels crippled from life, think about the man in the passage. Consider also Peter’s response. The person may need a spiritual miracle to endure a challenge in their life. We have the opportunity to offer up those words of encouragement, through our faith and trust in Jesus.
Let us remember how it has felt in our own lives when we have yearned for an uplifting conversation. May we remember the impact that good and positive conversation had on our own life. May we offer that gift to others. In a world full of put-downs and insults, let us remember Peter’s uplifting example. In a world of pain and hopelessness, he offered hope and healing. May we do the same in our world today…
God of healing and wholeness,
We never know who we will interact with each day. Yet we know that You are always with us. Give us the grace to meet people where they are, and to carefully choose the words we offer them. Help us to lift them up from the depths of despair. We pray this prayer in the name of the Great Physician, Jesus Christ. Amen.