An ‘as-you-go’ challenge

Published 1:00 pm Sunday, September 11, 2022

In Acts Chapter 3, while Peter and John are going up to the temple to pray at the ninth hour, they see 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” (NKJV).

Peter and John are living out the command of Jesus given to them in Matthew 10 — “go, and as you go preach”…”heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, cast out demons. Freely you have received, freely give.”

While headed up to the temple, on their way to thank and praise God with prayer, Peter and John turn aside to heal a lame beggar. They knew what the real ministry was that afternoon; it was to “preach” that the kingdom of God was at hand by healing this cripple. As a result, he followed them into the temple where he continued to praise God!

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How many times have those of us who are/were called by God, not turned aside from our own “important work” to do the work of the kingdom? After all, we have been called by God to a great and powerful ministry, surely we shouldn’t put that on hold for one cripple? It is a shame, but we most often look upon our calling as a being for a particular place or situation. We miss the point of Matthew 10:7 completely. Jesus said “as you go.”

We are to be always alert for opportunities to minister the kingdom, even if it means being sidetracked from our intended destination. Ministering the kingdom, and its King is our challenge. It is an as-you-go challenge, regardless of any perceived appointment.

Rev. Bobby Thornhill is a retired Methodist preacher.