Look at Us!
A daily devotion for May 8th
Peter Heals a Lame Beggar
3 One day Peter and John were going up to the temple at the time of prayer—at three in the afternoon. 2 Now a man who was lame from birth was being carried to the temple gate called Beautiful, where he was put every day to beg from those going into the temple courts. 3 When he saw Peter and John about to enter, he asked them for money. 4 Peter looked straight at him, as did John. Then Peter said, “Look at us!” 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.
Peter looked straight at him, as did John. Then Peter said,Look at us!Acts 3:4
Here was this man waiting at the gate of the temple. The striking thing about this is that when he asked alms of Peter, Peter stopped, and said to him,
Look at us. This is very important, because it is right in line with the activities of Jesus whenever he wanted to heal anyone. He never walked up to someone and merely touched him and healed him, without first directing his attention to himself. He always captivated the attention of the individuals he wanted to heal, directed them to focus their gaze upon him. The reason is that this arouses a sense of expectation. It always quickens faith. This is what happened here. This man expected to receive something from Peter and John. He did not know what he was going to get, but his faith was quickened by Peter's words. This is very necessary in order to receive anything from God. You must expect something from him.
One of the reasons why there are people who attend church but whose lives are hardly any different than when they first came, is that they have never given their attention to God. They have never expected to receive anything when they came. Unfortunately there are those, young and old alike, who turn off their minds when they get into a church service. They start thinking of all kinds of other things, start taking mental trips and playing mental games. I have always thought it would be most interesting after service to know where everyone had been! But unfortunately, the life-changing truth that goes out from the Scriptures misses them, passes right by, and they can sit here for years and never be changed.
There are young people who have been raised in church, but who are no different, exhibit no evidence that God is at work. This is largely because they never have heard that word,
Look at me, and paid attention. This is why Jesus always said to the crowds to which he preached,
He who has ears, let him hear... (Matthew 11:15) Let him listen. This is always necessary for the working of faith.
The minute Peter had this man's attention, he did two things which are most interesting: First, he admitted his bankruptcy in the material realm:
Silver or gold I do not have, he said.
That's what you are looking for, but I can't help you there. He then demonstrated his amazing adequacy in the spiritual realm:
In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, walk. In that electric moment, as this man was looking at Peter and John, and heard these words, at the mention of the name of Jesus something remarkable happened. Strength came flowing into his ankles, and Peter, sensing it, took him by the right hand and lifted him up. The man rose and began to leap and shout and jump around, trying out this new found strength in his legs which he had never known, because he was lame from birth.
Father, thank you for the name of Jesus. It has lost none of its power. It is still transforming men and women, as it always has — and not only spiritually, but occasionally physically. Thank you for those demonstrations of your power yet today. We know that you can change a sick and ailing body and make it well. But also you can take a sick and ailing spirit and make it whole.
Life Application: When people look at us are they drawn to the power and presence of the Lord Jesus Christ? Do we purposefully divert their attention and expectation from us to Him?
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