Just Announced: Philippians Sermon Series

Summary: What do you have of value? When we have Jesus, there is great value ion what we have.

“The Miracle in What You Have”

Acts 3:1-26

What do you have of value? Consider the following first-person account. “Bad luck – the light turned red, and I was trapped standing at the corner. I prayed for it to change quickly. He was standing too close to me. And besides, it was cold and I was getting wet from the snow. ‘Can I have something for my file, mister?’ he asked. This one was a crazy – no doubt about it. The grimy box under his arm gave him away immediately. Crazies always carry something, usually a shopping bag with handles. They can be unstable, but this guy looked pretty safe. ‘Sorry, no money.’ I had repeated the old lie so often it came out automatically. ‘Have you anything for my file?’ he repeated. Finally, his message sank through. I fished in my pocket, pulled out a brochure, and handed it to him. ‘No!’ he shouted. Then, almost pathetically, he finished, ‘I don’t have a file for that.’ I took it back and turned away. Come on light – change. I stepped over the curb to look for a break in traffic. ‘I’m Howard,’ he said. ‘What’s your name?’ ‘Mark.’ One syllable was all the information I intended to give. I had no desire to have some crazy calling me all the time. I knew people who had to change their telephone number to stop calls. I liked my number.

I chanced a quick look to see what he was doing. He had a pencil in one hand and was stooping to pick up a piece of paper form the snow. Just then the light changed, and I took off. Halfway down the block, I slowed down and looked back. The crazy had just closed his box and begun to look around for another victim. A few days later, I was walking the same route when I noticed an ambulance parked outside a dingy alley. I joined the crowd of onlookers. Two attendants in white jackets wheeled their stretcher out of the alley. It was the crazy. His face was showing, so I knew he wasn’t dead. But as the attendants shut the door, I could tell by their conversation that he wouldn’t stay uncovered for long. A policeman questioned some of the people in the crowd but received no answers. Nobody seemed to care that much, It was just a little added excitement on an otherwise dull December day. The cop raised his voice and asked, ‘Did anyone know this guy?’ Nobody answered. Finally, I volunteered. ‘His name is Howard.’ The people around me backed away – as if my knowing the crazy’s name made me crazy, too. The cop came over and began to pump me for more information. ‘His name is Howard. That’s all I know, sir.’ ‘Well, at least there will be a name for the headstone. Thanks for your help…Oh, by the way – would you take this for me?’ He reached down and picked up the crazy’s box. ‘I’d like to skip the paper work on this one.’

He shoved the box into my hands and walked away before I could say anything. ‘Why would I want this guy’s garbage?’ I looked around for a trash can, but…I could just toss the box. Maybe it was the stories I had heard of millionaires who lived like bums, or perhaps it was just my slightly misguided sense of loyalty to the human race. Whatever it was, I opened the box. I was disappointed. There was nothing but old clothes and a file folder. I pulled out the file and dumped the rest of the stuff. Then I noticed the crude printing on the folder: ‘FRIENDS.’ I opened it and looked inside. It held only one small scrap of paper. On it was written, ‘MARK.’” (1)

What do you have of value? As we turn to the third chapter of Acts we discover that WHEN WE HAVE JESUS, THERE IS GREAT VALUE IN WHAT WE HAVE.

As Acts chapter three begins, Pentecost is over and the daily routine of life has returned. Peter and John were headed to the Temple to offer afternoon prayers. They are addressed by A MAN WITH BASIC NEEDS. He was a man crippled from birth who sat and begged at this particular City Gate everyday. On this day he asked Peter and John for money. Beggars knew all the ropes. Begging was their life, their occupation, their art. They knew where to be, when to be there, and from whom to beg. They had an instinct that focused their sight on those most likely to give. They knew what was happening in and around town; they heard all the gossip and news. He probably knew who Peter and John were. So they were prime targets for him.

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