‘Acts 3:6 “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.”
In Acts 3 we come upon a lame beggar, who sat there every day begging at the temple gate for who knows how many years. Although he was very near, he couldn’t get into the temple like the others. He had depended on the mercy of others for his living, and in the course of time he believed that that was what he needed most. So when Peter and John passed by him, he asked them what he thought he needed- money. But Peter and John did better than give him material needs that would satisfy him only for a short while, in the name of Jesus Christ they healed him, helped him get up on his feet and helped him into the temple. The lame beggar didn’t realize what he really needed; he asked for something else and got a much better deal. Getting into the temple and praising God was not on his agenda for that day. But when he saw what God did for him he couldn’t help but praise Him.
This is what is happening in our place of ministry. People do not realize what they need. They run around in confusion looking for satisfaction. Many think that material things and wealth will bring them happiness and so join in the race to acquire more. Many turn to Jesus Christ in the hope of receiving material blessings. Many ask to be prayed for so that their needs will be met. As missionaries, it is often easy to lose our focus and dwell on their immediate physical needs. Our prayers for them often echo their need for physical healing, good jobs, better living conditions and so on. Our Gospel message should bring out the relevance of Jesus’ words, “But seek first his kingdom and righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.” Mat. 6:33
Our job then, like Peter and John, is to help them see the truth of Christ with their hearts, beyond what their eyes can see. We can help people to pray to God not for what they can gain but to praise God for what He has done for them. We can point them to the God who is the missing link in their lives. We have to let them know that Jesus is the only answer to all of their needs. And the best part is that Jesus gives us, not necessarily what we ask of Him, but what is best for us. Praising God may not be on the list of ‘things to do’ in the lives of our contacts, but when we’ve shown them who God really is, what he has done and what he is capable of doing, their priorities will surely undergo a drastic change.