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By Mike Stickler
5 So the man gave them his attention, expecting to get something from them.
6 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.”
7 Taking him by the right hand, He helped him up, and instantly the man’s feet and ankles became strong.
8 He jumped to his feet and began to walk. Then he went with them into the temple courts, walking and jumping, and praising God.
9 When all the people saw him walking and praising God,
10 they recognized him as the same man who used to sit begging at the temple gate called Beautiful, and they were filled with wonder and amazement at what had happened to him.
Has this ever happened to you? After completing a business meeting, I walked out of a local bakery. It was chilly outside, so I quickly walked across the parking lot, got in my car and cranked up the heater. Of course, I’d been away from my emails and text messages for an entire hour (sarcasm) and began to read them on my phone. Suddenly, there was a knock on my driver’s side window. Startled from my emails, there was a clean-cut young man, mid 20’s, straddling a bicycle. He gave me the signal to roll my window down. “Ugh,” I thought to myself. “What does this guy want? I don't want to roll my window down. It’s cold! I bet he just wants money.” I knew I didn’t have much as I had just paid my check from the bakery meeting. Reluctantly, I cracked the window.
He began to tell me his story. He was an out-of-work construction worker, talented in his craft, yet had a baby on the way and was simply looking for work so he could support his family. I hastened him along with a few encouraging words and the change from my ashtray. He thanked me and rode away at that point.
As I backed out of my parking space, I felt convicted by the Holy Spirit. I said to myself “Gee, that was generous.” (Again the sarcasm, again directed toward me.) I spent the next 10 minutes driving around the parking lot trying to find this man. It was if he had disappeared. I realized my interaction with him had been much less than Christ would have wanted. Finally, I found him and took another 10-15 minutes encouraging him and then exchanged contact information so that if I heard of work, or if he needed food for his family, we could connect ‒ perhaps with a job, or the food pantry at church. He seemed genuinely appreciative that I circled around to find him.
In Acts 3, we see Peter and John on their way to temple for prayer. A lame beggar at the entrance to the temple interrupts their trip. I noticed they didn’t qualify the beggar as deserving their attention, nor was there a particularly moving appeal from the beggar. He was just expectant to receive something from them. Peter and John took that few minutes of their day to share with him what they did have: Jesus Christ the Nazarene.
The next time your day is interrupted with an opportunity to bless someone, encourage someone, or pray for someone, remember they are looking at you expectantly. Maybe you think at that moment you don’t have “silver or gold” for them. You do have a much more precious gift: You have the gift of God for the lost world; you have Jesus Christ the Nazarene.
Today’s Generosity Challenge:
Before you leave to start your day, simply ask God for three things:
Share what happens below.
About Michael Stickler
Mike is an author, radio host, and a highly sought after motivational speaker. His best-selling book, A Journey to Generosity, is widely acclaimed throughout the Christian community. He is the publisher of Generous Living Magazine and writes for the Christian Post, 'A Generous Life' column.
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