“Hold out your hand and lift up a fellow human with your love, and pray she will grab hold of you and Jesus!”
Thoughts from daily Bible reading for today – February 22, 2023
A beggar…seeing Peter and John about to go into the temple, asked for alms. And fixing his eyes on him, with John, Peter said, “Look at us.” So he gave them his attention, expecting to receive something from them. Acts 3:3-5
Sometimes giving spontaneously is the most helpful to the recipient and the most fulfilling to the giver. No one planned for it to happen…but a kind word gave hope…an extra gratuity showed gratitude…a listening ear said I care…a prayer for healing, facilitated faith…and sharing the gospel saved souls. We may be on a very intentional daily routine to get things done, but if we schedule out the opportunity for the Holy Spirit to engage us in spontaneous giving, we miss the Lord’s best. Ah, yes, spontaneity is the spice of life…but spontaneity also gives life. Spiritual, emotional, physical, relational, and financial life are all candidates for rejuvenation when generosity calls. Spontaneous giving is Spirit-led giving that ultimately leads to Jesus Christ.
Peter and John were on their way to a prayer meeting at “church” (the temple). At the entrance to the temple—the Beautiful Gate—like any skid row in a major city, they encountered a band of beggars seeking alms…money. In a Spirit-led moment, Peter and John locked eyes with a fellow human being. No doubt, a desperate look of despair, dressed in tattered clothes, lying lame, dirty, and destitute…all the smells and emotions erupted in compassion in the Christ followers. Peter and John spontaneously gave along the way…they didn’t let a religious obligation get in the way of the most sacred service of sharing the love of God. They gave the best gift…Jesus Christ!
“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” (Acts 3:6).
Make sure your routines make room for spontaneous Spirit-led giving. If your rush to get to your next appointment is a deterrent to taking time for another’s unfortunate situation, you may be missing God’s best. The biggest culprit to restraint in your compassionate actions could be religious commitments. Prayer times and worship without accompanying actions of love for the lost and needy miss the heart of Jesus Christ…always on the lookout to heal, forgive and give. The One who came to serve and not be served models the way for you to help others His way.
Consider a giving strategy to serve the poor. You could involve your family in a systematic approach to volunteering at a faith-based non-profit in your community that provides food and clothing for those who are in a season of financial challenge or have a pattern of poverty and pain inherited from their past. In addition to helping the needy with their felt needs, make sure, like Peter and John, to offer lost souls an opportunity to embrace faith in Jesus Christ. Take the time to look an individual in the eyes and look beyond her urgent physical calamity and perceive her heart’s desire for God’s love and forgiveness…the greatest gift you can give. Hold out your hand and lift up a fellow human with your love, and pray she will grab hold of you and Jesus!
“And he took him by the right hand and lifted him up, and immediately his feet and ankle bones received strength. So he, leaping up, stood and walked and entered the temple with them—walking, leaping, and praising God” (Acts 3:7-8).
Heavenly Father, slow me down to see severe needs around me, and give me courage and compassion to act through Christ’s love, and in Jesus’ name, amen.
Where can you volunteer with others to serve the poor and needy?
Kay Nichole: In Jesus’ Name
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