an ideal day to recognize the true value of what Jesus offers us.
“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.” Acts 3:6 NIV
Imagine yourself begging beside the gate to the Temple in Jerusalem.
People carried you there, as they did every day, in order that you could seek the charity of others to survive. Unable to walk since birth, you were dependent upon others for the means with which to live. There were no government programs to fall back on. There was just the good will of those going into that Temple.
Two men appear that you have never seen before and you ask them for money. One of them tells you he has no money to give you, but he has something better: A gift from Jesus Christ of Nazareth. And suddenly, you can walk!
Undoubtedly, the use of his legs was a truly remarkable gift for the man who had never known what it was like to use them. Giving him that ability was done to garner people’s attention, which it obviously did, for “While he was clinging to Peter and John, all the people ran together to them at the so-called portico of Solomon, full of amazement.” (Acts 3:11 NASB).
Now that he had their attention, Peter proceeded to tell those gathered that the power to do what they did was not his, but came from Jesus of Nazareth, who was the long-awaited Messiah. He then told them of the greater gift of salvation and restoration that would be theirs if they accepted Jesus as their savior.
Peter and John went to jail for teaching others the value of what Jesus offers us all. The Sadducees were upset with what they were preaching “But many who heard the message believed; so the number of men who believed grew to about 5,000.” (Acts 4:4 NIV).
The value of what Jesus offers us is beyond calculation in mere monetary terms. The restoration of our souls and the promise of everlasting peace and joy have no price. It cannot be bought nor can it be sold. It is given to us freely if we will only accept it and we can give it to others by sharing the Good News with them and leading them to their own realization and acceptance of this incredible gift.
The ability to walk was a wonderful gift for the beggar who asked for gold or silver. The greater gift, for all of us, is the offer to walk in the light of the Lord for eternity.
And that is priceless.
the perfect day to celebrate God’s gift of love.
“Three things will last forever – faith, hope and love – and the greatest of these is love.” 1 Corinthians 13:13 NLT
In many ways in today’s society, the meaning of love has been diminished. Far too often lust is mistaken for love. The word itself seems overused and undervalued. If any of us have found ourselves struggling to understand its meaning, its importance and its place in our lives, we need only open our Bibles to Chapter 13 of the Apostle Paul’s first letter to the Church in Corinth.
“Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud or rude. It does not demand its own way. It is not irritable, and it keeps no record of being wronged. It does not rejoice about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out.” (1 Corinthians 13:4-6 NLT).
These are incredible truths that make clear what love should mean to each and every one of us. “Love is patient and kind.” Say those words to yourself when you quietly observe your spouse. “Love is patient and kind.” Say those words to yourself when you watch your children sleeping. “Love is patient and kind.” Say those words to yourself when you see a friend or neighbor. “Love is patient and kind.” Five words that should speak volumes to us about how we should view ourselves, our families, our friends and neighbors, members of our church – virtually everyone we meet.
As if he isn’t sure he has been succinct enough, Paul continues with “Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance.” (1 Corinthians 13:7 NLT).
For a man who had approved of and witnessed the stoning to death of another man, and who had originally set out to destroy Christianity by persecuting Christians, Paul certainly had a major change of heart. Jesus changed his heart on the road to Damascus and created the greatest influence on the shaping of Christianity the world has ever known, apart from Jesus Himself.
Allow Jesus to come into your heart and enable you to see the meaning, importance and place of love in your life.
Celebrate the gift of love with the people around you today and every day and praise God, the One who gives it to us.
And remember, “Love never gives up.”
Taken from “TODAY IS….A Gift From God”, (C) 2013 Tony Casson