Serving People – Part #4: The Church on the Street

“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.” (Acts 3:1-8)

Have you ever found yourself in a situation, perhaps as a result of an injury, surgery, or illness, that has forced you to be dependent on others?  For most of us, that is a very uncomfortable position. We watch those in our household getting their own food, dressing themselves, and performing other fundamental daily tasks while we cannot. We desperately want our independence restored.  One day Peter and John met a man in Jerusalem who had been crippled from birth. Without a doubt this man wanted to be like the others in his life. Instead, his disability sent him to the streets to beg for money, food, and help. As this man lay destitute and disheveled, Peter and John stepped into this man’s life, touched him, and offered him the one thing he needed more than anything. Not money. Not food. Not the ability to walk. They offered him Jesus. By God’s mercy and power, the man was made whole; both physically and spiritually. Christians are the church on the street. We encounter people every day who are hurting and helpless. We must be willing to dirty our hands in the work of the ministry. We must be willing to move past the comfortable to the uncomfortable. We must be willing to give away what we have. Above all, we must ensure that we give away the main thing. People might have piles of problems we want God to fix. Some may be serious: cancer, financial burdens, etc. Yet the most important thing people need is not a quick fix from God. The most important thing people need is the Savior Jesus Christ.

Reflection Questions.

When was the last time you stepped into another’s life because their need moved you to action? How did you feel afterwards?

In our service to people, we must often meet a physical need before we can introduce them to their most important need: spiritual healing and forgiveness of sin. Do you agree? If yes, what would that look like practically?

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