There is something more valuable than silver and gold. In the third chapter of the Book of Acts, Peter and John are out spreading the gospel, bringing people to an understanding of what recently happened – the death and resurrection of Jesus. When confronted by a lame man seeking a handout, Peter provided him with much more than he expected.
“Then Peter said, “Silver or gold I do not have, but what I do have I give you. In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, walk.” Acts 3:6 (NIV)
Empowered by the Holy Spirit, Peter was able to heal the lame man so that he could walk for the first time in his life. It’s so vitally important to understand this is not a concocted story to illustrate a point – this is the recording of a historic fact. There actually was a man who could not walk from birth who was made to walk by his faith in Jesus Christ.
“By faith in the name of Jesus, this man whom you see and know was made strong. It is Jesus’ name and the faith that comes through him that has completely healed him, as you can all see.” Acts 3:16 (NIV)
The miraculous didn’t stop after Jesus was brought back to life and it didn’t stop after he returned to heaven to be with His Father. The apostles continued to demonstrate the awesome power of Jesus via their connection to the Holy Spirit. While we still see miraculous things happening all over the world, they are now at God’s discretion. I have never seen a verified case of a Spirit-filled man healing a man lame from birth. There is some speculation that the reason for this is those who are trying to do the healing and those receiving the healing, lack faith – we just don’t have the same complete faith these early believers had. We are so far removed from the original events we have become tainted with skepticism. Even if it’s only a tiny bit of doubt, it’s enough to dilute our power to achieve the miraculous.
It seems more likely to me that God has decided to take the power to heal out of the hands of man. God wants us to believe without seeing miracles (John 20:29). He wants us to trust the word of God. He wants us to trust the teaching of Jesus. When we focus our lives on strictly following His commandment to love God and love our neighbor, the power of the Holy Spirit working inside each of us is magnified. Our miraculous powers are brought to life when we stand together in service to God by doing everything Jesus has told us to do.
“For Moses said, ‘The Lord your God will raise up for you a prophet like me from among your own people; you must listen to everything he tells you.” Acts 3:22 (NIV)
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