April 25 I Thursday
2 Samuel 21-22
“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
Peter’s story did not end with his denial of Christ, nor on the beach when Jesus asked him three times, “Do you love Me?” On the day of Pentecost, he and the other disciples received the Holy Spirit, and their lives were miraculously transformed from that time on.
We see Peter’s transformation on display in Acts 3. At the temple gate called Beautiful, there was a man crippled from birth who would beg every day from those entering the temple. When Peter and John were about to go in, this man looked right at them and asked for money. The King James Version translates Peter’s response, “Silver or gold have I none, but such as I have give I thee.” Peter had a conscious awareness of three resources he had inherent in the indwelling Spirit of Christ, a reservoir out of which he could give to this man and change his life.
The first resource Peter had was his godliness. This does not mean making the right move at every turn or a “holier than thou” attitude but the opposite. Peter knew he could do nothing by himself; his godliness was in being totally God-dependent. Any work of God would not be accomplished by Peter but through Peter. He was filled with the Holy Spirit. To borrow Paul’s words in Galatians 2:20, “It was no longer Peter, but Christ living in him.”
The onlookers at the Beautiful gate were filled with amazement at the miraculous healing of this man. Peter said to them, “Fellow Israelites, why does this surprise you? Why do you stare at us as if by our own power or godliness we had made this man walk? The God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, the God of our fathers, has glorified his servant Jesus.” (Acts 3:12-13). As Jesus did before him, Peter gave the glory to God, taking none for himself.
We rarely discover the work of God as a theory. More often, this discovery comes through experiences of difficulty and hardship. Within the church, we think it is up to us to make this project a success or that program work. In our personal lives, we try our utmost to do what Jesus would do, but we cannot maintain it. The bright side is that we so often recognize our spiritual bankruptcy through our failures, which brings us back to dependence on God. We then learn to relax, which is not being idle, but trusting God to work out His will. The Christian life is lived in total dependence on God—not what we do for Him, but what He will do in us, through us and for us.
Prayer: Lord Jesus, it is so liberating to know that dependence on You is to permeate the Christian life. Keep me totally dependent on You every day of my life. Thank You, Lord.