Good morning. Today’s scripture comes from Psalm Acts 3:2-6 (NIV):
Now a man crippled from birth was being carried to the temple gate called Beautiful, where he was put every day to beg from those going into the temple courts. When he saw Peter and John about to enter, he asked them for money. Peter looked straight at him, as did John. Then Peter said, “Look at us!” So the man gave them his attention, expecting to get something from them. Then Peter said, “Silver or gold I do not have, but what I have I give you. In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, walk.”
All the beggar was looking for was alms, nothing more. Day after day, he sat there with his hand outstretched. “Alms for a cripple,” he must have cried out. Perhaps he was placed there by relatives who hoped for more money from pious Jews from this select spot. This is the same temple gate Beautiful that Jesus must have passed through en route to the temple many times – and passed the man by. Theologians believe the man was in his 30s or 40s, so he may have been at this spot for decades.
Being crippled, he would not have been allowed to go into temple because he would have been deemed “unclean.” For much of society, he was an outcast. Maybe his family left them all day to get a little relief. Did they leave him food or water? Or did they expect others to feed him. Jews came to the temple to pray in the morning, at mid-afternoon and at sunset, and the man was set at a place where he could get the most attention?
The cripple knew no other way of life. He had lost hope. He wasn’t praying every day for a miraculous healing; all he wanted a little cash for food. What if God had answered his simple prayer and left it at that? The man never would have walked. How many times when we are praying, do we just ask for what we’re used to, or what we want? God answers prayers according to our needs. God’s plan is often better than what we ask for. God answers prayer according to our needs.
As a friend in my Bible study said, “It’s not God’s plan to make you comfortable on your way to hell.” This cripple was headed for hell. Peter and John set him free by introducing him to Jesus Christ of Nazareth, which was far better than a little cash. He was expecting alms, but ended up walking away. God knew that’s what he needed. That’s how God acts on our behalf. John and Peter gave this man a life he never knew by healing him. What sin is crippling you? What handicap is keeping you away from a relationship with Christ? Stop making excuses. It’s time to ask God to remove the handicap and get up and walk.
How does this apply to my life?
Today’s prayer: Lord, forgive me for asking what I want. I ask you to meet my needs. What I need most, Lord, is you. Fill me up. Amen
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