“And on the basis of faith in His name, it is the name of Jesus which has strengthened this man whom you see and know; and the faith which comes through Him has given him this perfect health in the presence of you all.” Acts 3:16
Oh, how easy it would have been for Peter and John to take credit for the healing. A man who was lame from birth was carried every day to sit by the gate called Beautiful to beg. When Peter and John pulled the lame man up by the arms he began to leap and walk and praise the Lord. The people were amazed by what they saw, and could have readily given the credit to the two men and worshiped them as gods. Taking credit would not necessarily have been an evil thing, but simply a very human thing to do.
It really is very easy to accept credit and praise for wonderful things God may do through us. After all, when people are blessed by events such as a miraculous healing, their hearts quite naturally rejoice. In this state, people will usually seek something or someone to praise. The vessel through whom God sent the miracle can easily be the target of their affection.
While it is essential that the vessel of God should not claim the praises due the Lord, it is just as essential that the vessel should not be neglected. In simpler terms, God works through people and it is important to recognize and take care of those who are engaged in the work of the Lord. Jesus declared this with words recorded in Matthew 10:10 “for the worker is worthy of his support”.
What Act 3:16 teaches us then, is that God works through people by faith in the name of Jesus. While it is right to honor and recognize those through whom God works, it is most important for these vessels to lead the blessed to direct all praise and worship to the Lord who is the true source of all blessing.
Praise God for His many blessings and praise Him for those He sends to carry forth those blessings.
“For God so loved the world, that He sent His only Begotten Son, that whosoever believes in Him shall not parish, but have everlasting life.”
Often I have heard scholarly debate about ancient texts and scriptures. When the debate turns specifically to the Bible, one of the verses on which a great deal of time is generally spent is John 1:1. After all, what excellent material for lengthy and complicated discussion? “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” Such great dissertations have been delivered, by simply concentrating exhaustively on the explanation that “the Word” John refers to is Jesus. Pages and pages have been filled. Yet, even with so much scholarly attention, the profound theology of this verse can be easily lost. Lost because all the debate and discussion never cause it to reach the hearts for which it was written.
The truth is, where scholarly debate and discussion come up short, and where religion fails, Love reigns. One of the greatest attributes mankind has inherited from being created in the likeness of God is the desire to love and be loved. Paul was inspired to write of this in 1 Corinthians 13:13 “But now faith, hope, love, abide these three; but the greatest of these is love.” Here we are instructed and encouraged to live in FAITH and live in HOPE, but most importantly, live in LOVE
God commands us to love one another with the same love He has shown us. That is a tall order to fill, and most likely not one of us will actually come even close to accomplishing this. Still, we should never give it up as a lost cause. What is so easily missed is that in the case of sharing the love of God, accomplishment may not be in the completion of the task, but is actually in striving to do it.
What then is the love of God? Well of course, it is this stop along Route NT316. It is LOVE itself. As the One who was sent and died put it, “Love your neighbor as yourself.” (Matthew 22:39) The real question is, “How do we share the love of God”? This is a question that can also lead to much discussion and debate, but the real and simple answer is to share the love God has already given. Just strive to let every single person know that they are so desperately loved by God that He sent His only Begotten Son to die for specifically them.