Today’s Reading: Acts 3:6 (NIV)
6 Then Peter said, “Silver or gold I do not have, but what I have I give you. In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, walk.”
My mother joined Weight Watchers® while I was at elementary school. She would go to her weekly meetings and weigh in while I had class. Mom was determined to drop a few pounds, and forty of them fell off her frame after a year of disciplined eating and daily exercise. Mom learned the secret to losing and maintaining a healthy weight had a lot to do with daily commitment not to eat more than the number of calories she was allotted each day, and to persevere in daily activity. She had issues with her lower back that kept her from doing some of the aerobic exercises that most women liked to do, so she looked for something that was less stressful and worked well for her. She could walk faster than any other mother in our subdivision! Whoosh! There she goes again down the street and off on the hilly service road! I could hardly keep up with her. She would wait until we got home from school, and then we would lace up our tennis shoes and off we’d go. She walked and I sprinted just to stay beside her. For someone with such short legs, I don’t know how she picked up that kind of momentum. Up and down the service road hills we would walk, taking every side street to the end and back. It is no wonder she had great success in losing those unwanted extra pounds.
Walking is such a gift. We watch our babies move from crawling to pulling up, learning how to let go and taking their very first step solo. Do you remember the joy of seeing your child walk? Little wobbly ankles trying to hold up an unbalanced frame, while tossing aside all fear, picking up their feet and moving forward. We cheer them on, praising them with each new step. Not too long after they walk, running becomes a toddler’s theme, and many mothers often regret encouraging their wee ones to walk. It can be exhausting trying to keep up with a miniature marathon runner!
The crippled man had never walked. Scripture says he had been born with an infirmity that kept him begging daily for his needs. We don’t know whether he had seen Jesus riding through the streets of Jerusalem on a donkey, or if he saw the Lord leaving the city with the cross beam tied to his bleeding shoulders. What we do know is that Peter, through the power of the Holy Spirit, gave this man an incredible, amazing gift that day – it was a gift that would literally change his life. He offered him healing in Jesus’ name, and, for the very first time, the invalid stood up and took his very first step by faith.
How long has it been since you’ve taken a step of faith? The weight of the world may be holding you back, with feelings of insecurity as you try to stand up on wobbly, weak ankles. When the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth is spoken, miracles happen! People who hear His name for the very first time are instantly strengthened and changed. What happened that day at the Beautiful Gate happens every day at the gates of our lives. When Jesus commands us to stand, His strength becomes our strength and we can walk toward Him, step by step.
It is a miraculous and holy thing when we fully commit our lives to taking a daily walk with Jesus, just as He commands. It all begins with a simple act of faith. Jesus Christ of Nazareth is calling you by name, to rise up and walk with Him today.
Grace and peace,
Faith UMC - St. Charles, MO
© Copyright 2009, Deb Spaulding
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