December 31st, 2006
It is often a lot more difficult to help other people than you would imagine. When you see someone in need, you usually think you can see what the problem is, you can see what the solution is, so fixing the problem should just be a matter of applying the solution to the problem. But free gifts often have unintended side effects. By donating second hand clothing you may be driving local garment and textile manufacturers out of business. Some people might be happy to receive the gifts, but other people might become angry for one reason or another. It’s all very complicated. You want to help, but what you are doing may actually be causing more damage than good.
The Acts of the Apostles — Chapter 3
3:1 Peter and John were going to the temple for a prayer time, at about 3pm. 3:2 A man had been lame ever since birth was being carried in. Each day he was placed at the temple gate which is called Beautiful, to beg from people going into the temple. 3:3 He noticed Peter and John about to go into the temple, and asked for some money. 3:4 Peter and John looked at him intently and said, “Look at us.” 3:5 He focused on them, expecting to receive something from them. 3:6 But Peter said, “I haven’t got any silver or gold, but I’m giving you what I do have. In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, get up and walk!” 3:7 He took him by the right hand, and lifted him up. At once the man’s feet and ankle bones became strong. 3:8 He jumped up and began to walk. He went into the temple with them, walking, leaping and praising God. 3:9 All the people saw him walking and praising God. 3:10 They recognized him as the man who used to sit begging at the Beautiful Gate of the temple. They were filled with wonder and astonishment at what had happened to him. 3:11 As the lame man who had been healed clung to Peter and John, all the people rushed up to them in Solomon’s porch, totally amazed.
3:12 Seeing this, Peter said to the people, “People of Israel, why are you surprised by this man? Why do you stare at us, as if we had made him walk by our own power or godliness? 3:13 The God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, the God of our fathers, has glorified his Servant Jesus, whom you handed over and rejected in the presence of Pilate, when he had decided to release him. 3:14 But you rejected the Holy and Righteous One, and asked for a murderer to be released to you, 3:15 and killed the Prince of life. God raised him from the dead, and we are witnesses to this fact. 3:16 It is faith in the name of Jesus that has healed this man whom you see and recognise. Faith in Jesus has healed him in front of all of you.
3:17 “Friends, I know that you acted in ignorance, as did also your rulers. 3:18 But this was how God fulfilled the things he had predicted through the mouths of all his prophets, that Christ must suffer.
3:19 “So repent and change, so that your sins can be erased, and so that times of refreshing can come from the presence of the Lord, 3:20 and he can send the Messiah who has been arranged in advance for you, Jesus, 3:21 who must stay in heaven until it is time for the restoration of all things, which God predicted long ago through the mouths of his holy prophets. 3:22 Moses said to our ancestors, ‘The Lord God will raise up a prophet for you from among your brothers, like me. Listen to everything he says to you. 3:23 Every person who does not listen to that prophet will be totally destroyed from amongst the people.’ 3:24 All the prophets from Samuel onwards, all who have spoken, have also predicted these days. 3:25 You are the children of the prophets, and of the agreement which God made with our ancestors, saying to Abraham, ‘All the families of the earth will be blessed through your descendants.’ 3:26 God raised up his servant Jesus and sent him to you first, to bless you by turning everyone of you away from your wickedness.”
Entry Filed under: Perseverance