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A Beautiful Place to Beg

According to an April 2015 study, 1.75 million Americans are homeless.  This stat doesn’t include the unemployed, hungry or those on the verge of losing their permanent shelter.  While its not ideal, some are forced to beg, creating card board signs, standing at busy intersections hoping for enough generosity and or pity to get through the day.

Now a man who was lame from birth was being carried to the temple gate called Beautiful, where he was put every day to beg from those going into the temple courts, Acts 3:2.

Prior to intersections, the poor would sit or stand at gates, where travelers walk in and out of large cities.  The disciples had their own encounters with beggars and leave it to Peter to provide an unusual yet powerful message.  Beginning with a bit of sarcasm, likely in response to his wardrobe, “do you see what I’m wearing?”  Unable to offer money, Peter offers this crippled beggar a slice of the supernatural.

So the man gave them his attention, expecting to get something from them.  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 3:5-6.

Reaching out to or relating to the poor is not one of my strengths.  Yet, when I’ve tasted poverty, I was able to see the other side, walking in the steps of the helpless.  If or when you arrive, don’t be ashamed for in your weakness Christ is strong.  In fact, Jesus told his followers on a few occasions, “you don’t have because you haven’t asked.”  Therefore, the next tell you call out to the Lord in prayer, remember, this is a beautiful place to beg.

by Jay Mankus

Before God’s Presence Appears

Most Americans have become spoiled, expecting a response at the snap of their fingers.  Subsequently, when people go out to eat, go to a show or make a significant purchase, they want perfection.  When disappointed by a product or service, heads will roll and reputations will be harmed if these individuals don’t get their way.  If this is how a growing number of citizens are responding, its no wonder God is waiting to appear until faith and actions coexist.

The book of Leviticus consists of a conversation God had with Moses while on Mount Sinai in Exodus.  As I recently read through Leviticus, a pattern forms throughout the first 8 chapters, “God said to Moses.”  Following these instructions, Aaron and his sons did everything the Lord told Moses.  However, it wasn’t until Leviticus 9:4 before God’s presence appears before Israel.  Thus, this passage suggests God is waiting for his children to carefully follow the Bible’s commands prior to being accompanied by blessings, Deuteronomy 28:2.

While some may say, “what are you waiting for,” others are trying to twist the Bible to conform to their own beliefs.  As for me, a lack of results makes the obvious seem clear once again, “be doers of the word, not just hearers,” Matthew 7:24-27.  Once I realign my priorities to Matthew 6:33, God promises to provide for my daily needs.  Therefore, if you are hungry and thirsty to experience God’s presence, listen to words of Jesus like Aaron followed Moses.

Let us know when you’ve encountered God’s presence.

by Jay Mankus

 

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