A while ago I had a parent ask me for some discipline ideas. Her daughter got in trouble at school for fighting to be the line leader. Evidently she had pushed a classmate out of the way in order to be first. The mother told me she had her daughter apologize to the teacher, but wanted her daughter to have to do something else as well. I suggested that the mother have her daughter write an apology letter to her classmate and maybe make a little gift to give as well. The mother thought this sounded like a good idea and decided to give it a try.
The next time I saw them, the mother told me that they tried it. Her daughter wrote the letter and was waiting for the first chance to give it to her classmate. The mother thanked me again for the idea and said it seemed to work well. I share this story because I think that this “punishment” can be effective in a number of circumstances. Let me explain: Continue reading
This devotion comes from Acts 3 (quotations are from the NIV)
In Acts 3 we see that Peter and John were still going to the temple for prayer. They did not disconnect from their own people, but were still trying to reach them. Beggers would have been a common sight outside the temple, counting on the giving of devout Jews to be able to survive. The begger in Acts 3 does what we would expect: asks for money. Though Peter and John did not have money to give this man, they did not just go on their way ignoring him. Instead, Peter stopped and said (in verse 6), “Silver or Gold I do not have, but what I have I give you. In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, walk.” The man was healed by the power of Christ. Peter used the authority of Jesus- in His name- to ask in faith for healing for this man.
The man, who had been crippled since birth, received many wonderful blessings that day. Not only was he able to walk, but because he was healed he was able to enter the temple courts for the first time. He also heard Peter preach about Jesus.
The crowd was amazed by this healing. Peter was sure to deflect their amazement and wonder to the one to whom it was due: the Lord Jesus. It was God who healed this man and by His power, not anything Peter or John did, but by “Jesus’ name and the faith that comes through him (3:6b)”. The situation became an opportunity to glorify Christ and to share the Gospel with all who were there.
Our service should not only use what we have to give, but be done through God’s power, by faith in Jesus Christ and His power to save. Even if we have “nothing” to give, like Peter and John with the crippled man in Acts 3, we who are part of God’s family have Jesus and the Gospel that we can share. We can use our service as a way to share the Gospel with others—to share the love of God and hope we have as God’s children, forgiven of our sins. The gift of Jesus and through Him the forgiveness of sin is the greatest gift ever, but many times people will be more ready to listen if we serve them in other ways as well.
May we all be challenged to give what we have and use what we have to share the Gospel with those we serve.