Money Only Goes So Far...

Read Acts 3:1-9 - 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.  6 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.

Most of us have likely encountered the person on the side of the road or on the sidewalk that is asking for money. Our reactions to this person are varied between sympathy and frustration. You may have been taught that there is a difference between good help and enabling. The most difficult decision to make is to differentiate between the two when you are called on to help someone. 

Prior to this encounter, Peter and the apostles as well as over 3000 people have received the power of the Holy Spirit. So Peter was walking in the power of the Spirit when he came upon this lame man. Rather than gift him with a few cents to tide him over for the day, Peter gave him something much greater - his total healing through the power of the Holy Spirit. This gift that Peter gave the beggar that day was far better than money, it was the gift of healing and eternal life. 

According to the National Alliance to End Homelessness, a report online in April 2016 read, “On a single night in January 2015, 564,708 people were experiencing homelessness — meaning they were sleeping outside or in an emergency shelter or transitional housing program.” As Christians, we absolutely are obligated to help support this struggle financially. However, when we look at this issue from a kingdom perspective, what kind of other things can we do to offer “life?” There is an organization in Amarillo called the Panhandle Adult Rebuilding Center. They offer living-giving skills and opportunities like wood-working, arts and crafts, classes to learn to budget and communication skills. They are always in need of volunteers to help at the Center. Our own Pinnacle Food Pantry provides food for upwards of 80 families every other week, and though the clients aren’t necessary considered homeless,this kingdom work is providing food for families that otherwise could not afford it on their own. The need for volunteers at the Pinnacle Food Pantry is always great. 

As believers, we too walk in the power of the Holy Spirit. Let’s be determined to keep our eyes open to spiritual needs and intentionally bring God’s gift of healing and life giving power to people we encounter. 

Are you currently doing anything to bring life and healing to the hurting in your community or neighborhood? 

If not, where could you do this powerful kingdom work?

Think of someone you know who you can pray for and spend the next week calling on God to come to their aid, offering your own help and resources if that is what God calls you to do.