Summary: Why marvel and wonder at God's mercy when we can be a part of it.
April 15, 2018
Why Marvel at God’s Mercy?
Why marvel and wonder at God's mercy when we can be a part of it.
In this account of Peter and John entering the gate called Beautiful, leading to the temple, we read of their encounter with a man born crippled; who spent his days begging for alms (charity).
Reading on, the crippled man begs of Peter and John for alms.
This reading has been the substance of a very wonderful children’s bible story and song for generations. Let’s pause and listen to the song that accompanies the children’s story – Silver and Gold I Have None. For those reading this at home, the song can be heard via “You Tube” by Googling the title.
It is a lively tune and quite heartwarming.
Peter’s response to the crippled man was, “Look on us. Silver and gold, have I none; but such as I have, give I thee; in the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth rise up and walk.” Peter took him by the hand and lifted him up. Immediately the beggar began leaping about and walking. AND – he accompanied Peter and John into the temple. (Verses 6-8)
How many times do we encounter beggars in our daily travels? How do we respond? I fear most of the time, with a degree of suspicion, mistrust, disdain and even contempt. Because these encounters are so common, such is understandable. However, it also causes us to miss out on some good ministry opportunities.
Let me relate a recent failure on my part. I was getting out of my car in the parking lot of a local strip mall when approached by a woman trying to sell men’s clothing (new with the tags still attached). I was suspicious as to how she came by these goods and declined to buy anything. She then asked for money. As I handed her a dollar, I noticed that she clutched a cigarette lighter in her hand. I could have handled it way better, but I simply told her that the dollar was not to buy cigarettes and walked away. Could I or should I have at least attempted to share a little of God’s mercy and gospel with her, In retrospect, YES!
Our ministry opportunities don’t have to be some spectacular event that becomes the subject of a song. Rather, they come to us simply as a means of sharing the love and mercy of Jesus the Christ. Do they deserve compassion? Do they deserve empathy? Do they even deserve a response? Yes, they do! None of us deserve the kind of love and compassion that God bestows upon us. THINK, how much of God’s love and compassion was bestowed upon you through the hands and hearts of others. We feel beholding to friends and relatives that have blessed us through the years but give little credence to the FACT that God uses those kin folk and friends as His emissaries, with or without them even knowing it.
The next time someone does something for you, lifts you up, blesses you with an unexpected gift, or bails you out one more time. By all means, thank them! BUT - pause and Thank God for them and for their willingness to be His emissaries, whether they know it or not.
In our reading, throngs gathered around this healed man and stood in wonder. I can just hear one of them saying: “What just happened?”, can’t you?
Well that just gave Peter the great opportunity to preach the gospel. He gave it to them with both barrels, telling them it was the power of Jesus Christ that healed this man. He reminded them that Jesus came to them to minister and heal, and they rejected Him even to the cross. Bless Peter, he goes on to give them an out: “you did this out of ignorance, as did your rulers.:” verse 17
In verse 18, we read that the suffering and death of Our Savior was the fulfillment of prophecy.
Ending this reading, Peter offers the crowds the opportunity to repent of their sins and be converted. verse 19
What are we to take with us from this message?
It could be an endless list: Ministry Opportunities, Compassion, Mercy, Undeserving Love, Repentance, Miracles, God’s Emissaries, Blessings, and on and on and on…….
Let us pray -