March 15. 2018

Now Peter and John were going up to the temple at the hour of prayer, the ninth hour.  And a man lame from birth was being carried, whom they laid daily at the gate of the temple that is called the Beautiful Gate to ask alms of those entering the temple.  Seeing Peter and John about to go into the temple, he asked to receive alms.  And Peter directed his gaze at him, as did John, and said, “Look at us.”  And he fixed his attention on them, expecting to receive something from them.  But Peter said, “I have no silver and gold, but what I do have I give to you. In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, rise up and walk!” And he took him by the right hand and raised him up, and immediately his feet and ankles were made strong. And leaping up, he stood and began to walk, and entered the temple with them, walking and leaping and praising God.  And all the people saw him walking and praising God and recognized him as the one who sat at the Beautiful Gate of the temple, asking for alms. And they were filled with wonder and amazement at what had happened to him. – Acts 3:1-10 ESV


What a great story of HOPE and of some serious introspection.  Alms are money or goods given to those in need as an act of charity. The word ALMS, comes from the Old English word ælmesse and ultimately from a Greek word meaning “pity, mercy.” In its original sense, when you give alms, you are dispensing mercy. GIVING of MERCY, ALMS, is a long-standing practice within the Judeo-Christian tradition. “Whoever is kind to the needy honors God” (Proverbs 14:31; see also Proverbs 19:17; 21:13; 22:9; and 29:7). Jesus and His disciples gave money to the poor (John 12:6), and believers are to “remember the poor” (Galatians 2:10).

Leader, are you giving what you have?  Would this MAN who got what HE NEEDED, verses what HE WANTED- have a changed LIFE if He got what He wanted? If you have truly encountered the FATHER OF MERCY- are others filled with WONDER and AMAZEMENT at what had happened to you? Are you so wrapped up in the things of this WORD and your TEMPORAL needs, that you FORGET TO ASK FOR WHAT YOU REALLY NEED- to be forever changed by your encounter with JESUS and those who REPRESENT HIM?

Conduit, the only GENTILE writer in the new testament, Dr. Luke told us in his epistle GOD’S accounting: Everyone to whom much was given, of him much will be required, and from him to whom they entrusted much, they will demand the more.(Luke 12:48) In Jesus Sermon on the Mount Jesus reminds us of what we value and what TRULY MATTERS: “Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal.  But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal.  For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. (Matt 6:19-21) Today, give what will withstand the FIRE JUDGMENT- the WORKS judgement for the believer, AND be part of your HEAVENLY TREASURE- Give the LOVE of GOD, HIS MERCY, HIS GRACE and if you have some of it- HIS MONEY!

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