What Do You Have To Give?

Key Texts: Acts 3:1-10

One day Peter and John were going up to the temple at the time of prayer—at three in the afternoon. Now a man who was lame 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 do have I give you. In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, walk.”  Taking him by the right hand, he helped him up, and instantly the man’s feet and ankles became strong.  He jumped to his feet and began to walk. Then he went with them into the temple courts, walking and jumping, and praising God.  When all the people saw him walking and praising God, they recognized him as the same man who used to sit begging at the temple gate called Beautiful, and they were filled with wonder and amazement at what had happened to him.

It’s one of the stories about the apostle Peter that I love the most.

Reinstated by Christ following Peter’s betrayal of him; now called into leadership in what would become the Church, Peter is going to the temple to pray with John.  At three in the afternoon, the same time of day that Jesus had hung on the cross and breathed his last, the two Christ followers encounter a man in need of grace and healing.  He asks to receive the only thing for which he knows to ask: money.

Peter’s reply is wonderful: “Silver or gold I do not have, but what I do have I give you.  In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, walk.”

The man is miraculously healed and he immediately he not only walks – but jumps – praising God.

Later, he is recognized as the one who “used to sit begging at the temple gate called Beautiful,” this one who received something truly beautiful by the grace of God – his healing.

That phrase burns in my mind and heart each time I encounter it: “Silver or gold I do not have, but what I do have I give you. “

What do you have to give, in the name of the Lord Jesus?

What do you have to share that may not be seen as very valuable by some, but may be priceless in value to others?

Is it your laughter, your compassion, your listening ear, your giving heart, your strength, your patience, your faith, your forgiveness, your…what?

I believe we all have – each of us – something potentially priceless to give.

It’s just a matter of finding out what it is.

How about asking God to help you discern what it is the next time you pray?

Something beautiful could come of it, when you least expect it.

God has a habit of working that way.

By Paul Simrell

The Reverend Paul W. Simrell has served for over thirty years in a variety of congregational and institutional settings. He is a recognized minister with standing in the Virginia region of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in the United States and Canada and is nationally endorsed by the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) for specialized ministry in both pastoral counseling and chaplaincy. Ordained in 1982, he has served congregations in Kentucky, Texas, Florida, and Virginia. He currently serves as the pastor of Elpis Christian Church, a small, historic congregation located just a few miles west of Richmond, Virginia. “Elpis” is the Greek word for “expectant hope.” He is a graduate of the University of Florida and Lexington Theological Seminary and has done advanced clinical training in chaplaincy and pastoral counseling at the University of Kentucky Medical Center in Lexington, Kentucky, Children’s Medical Center and Parkland Hospital in Dallas, Texas and the Virginia Institute of Pastoral Care in Richmond, Virginia. He is a Certified Pastoral Counselor, an ACPE Practitioner, a member of the American Association of Christian Counselors, and a member of Spiritual Directors International. He is a Certified Facilitator of the Prepare-Enrich relationship assessment and skills-building program and served as a volunteer chaplain for over twenty years with the CJW Medical Center campuses in Richmond, Virginia. His avocational interests include playing the piano and drawing. He is very happily married to his wife Elizabeth Yeamans Simrell, a free-lance writer, who is also a Certified Facilitator for the Prepare-Enrich program. Good company in a journey makes the way seem shorter. — Izaak Walton

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