You can only give what you have

Acts 3:1-10
Now Peter and John went up together to the temple at the hour of prayer, the ninth hour. And a certain man lame from his mother’s womb was carried, whom they laid daily at the gate of the temple which is called Beautiful, to ask alms from those who entered the temple; who, seeing Peter and John about to go into the temple, asked for alms. And fixing his eyes on him, with John, Peter said, “Look at us.” So he gave them his attention, expecting to receive something from them. Then Peter said, “Silver and gold I do not have, but what I do have I give you: In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, rise up and walk.” And he took him by the right hand and lifted him up, and immediately his feet and ankle bones received strength. So he, leaping up, stood and walked and entered the temple with them—walking, leaping, and praising God. and all the people saw him walking and praising God. Then they knew that it was he who sat begging alms at the Beautiful Gate of the temple; and they were filled with wonder and amazement at what had happened to him.

You can’t give what you don’t have. Sounds obvious right? Yet many people are frustrating themselves knocking up against this truth. What did Peter have in this story? He had Jesus and he also had an understanding of all that having Jesus meant. What do I mean by this?

Firstly Peter had a relationship with Jesus, he had accepted Jesus as his Lord and Savior, Peter was born-again. Peter understood that Jesus through the Holy Spirit was living inside of him and that all that Jesus is, was available to him. Note here that there were two things in play; Peter had accepted Jesus and Peter knew everything that came with that. Imagine Peter had accepted Jesus but that he didn’t know all the power and authority that came with that. In this case Peter would have had access to the healing power of Jesus but through ignorance would not have used it!

Are you born-again? Have you received the Baptism of the Holy Spirit? When you are born-again, your spirit is combined with the Spirit of Jesus and recreated new (reborn)(Romans 10:8-13). There is also a further experience, which Peter had while waiting in the upper room (Acts 2:1-4), he was Baptised in the Holy Spirit. The word Baptise means to immerse, submerge or dip into something. It is basically to totally cover something in something. When we are Baptised in the Holy Spirit, we are totally immersed, submerged or dipped in the Holy Spirit. It is this experience which is gotten simply by asking for it in faith (same as salvation)(Luke 11:11-13) that releases power into the believers life (Acts 1:8).

It is important that we as believers know and understand the power and authority that Jesus has given us. God says His people perish through lack of knowledge (Hosea 4:6). Not knowing you have something, will cause you to act as if you don’t have it and so you’ll be unable to give it!

John 14:12-14
“Most assuredly, I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do he will do also; and greater works than these he will do, because I go to My Father. And whatever you ask in My name, that I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If you ask anything in My name, I will do it.

Jesus Himself sets the expectation that we are called to do great and miraculous things. We are called to continue fulfilling His mandate on the earth.

Luke 4:18-19
“The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me, Because He has anointed Me To preach the gospel to the poor; He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted, To proclaim liberty to the captives And recovery of sight to the blind, To set at liberty those who are oppressed; To proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord.”

It would be unjust of Jesus to call on us to do greater things than He did and not provide us with all we need to do so. We need to renew our minds (Romans 12:2) and by changing the way we think of ourselves as believers, we will be able to operate in the fullness of what Christ provided.

Some things we need to understand.

  • You are loved by God, totally and unconditionally and out of this, you can love others.
  • You are made righteous in Jesus, you are seen as totally pure by God.
  • You have the Holy Spirit living in you, the same power that raised Jesus from the dead is in you.
  • You have Jesus inside you, He is alive and active, His power is acting in you.
  • It is always God’s will that everyone is healed.
  • It is always God’s will that everyone prospers.
  • God works through men/woman on the earth, His will does not automatically come to pass, it requires a human being operating in faith.
  • Jesus already did everything we need on the cross, it’s a done deal. Our forgiveness, healing, prosperity have already been payed for.

In Peter’s example, He knew the following truths.

When evening had come, they brought to Him many who were demon-possessed. And He cast out the spirits with a word, and healed all who were sick, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by Isaiah the prophet, saying: “He Himself took our infirmities And bore our sicknesses.

2 Peter 2:24
who Himself bore our sins in His own body on the tree, that we, having died to sins, might live for righteousness—by whose stripes you were healed.

Mark 16:17-18
And these signs will follow those who believe: In My name they will cast out demons; they will speak with new tongues; they will take up serpents; and if they drink anything deadly, it will by no means hurt them; they will lay hands on the sick, and they will recover.

Peter had the power and authority of Jesus and he knew it which is why He was able to give healing to the man lame from birth. We as believers have this same power and authority, so we do have something to give, we need to realise it and in faith act on it.

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