Stop and Take a Minute - by Allan Yoder

Some people will only receive a touch of God through you!  (Acts 3)

Some years ago we lived in a town where there was man who sat by himself on a corner of a street about two blocks from where we lived. People went past every day. We did too! One day I stopped and said hello. I quickly found out that he was considered the town drunk. But I got to know him as a person.

One day he died. We had a small funeral. Not many people go to the funeral of the town drunk. I don’t know for sure what his faith commitment was when he died but I do know that he knew who Jesus is.

There are lots of people who just blend into the scenery. We see them every day but never have the time to interact with them as people. Some are nice neighbors who get up every morning and go to work and keep to themselves. Others are family members that we only see at reunions . . . and have to ask to remember their names! Or the quiet co-workers who show up and do their job and go home. And the parents of our children’s friends that we only know as “Johnny’s mom or Mary’s dad.”

Peter and John met somebody like that in Acts 3. They were going about their normal routines and were going to the Temple for the three o’clock prayer service (v. 1). When they arrived at the Temple gate, they saw what they always saw at the gate. The same thing that the other disciples saw whenever they entered that gate. The same thing that Jesus saw when He entered through that same gate. They saw a man lame from birth (v. 2) who was there to ask for money (v. 3).

The man was over 40-years old (4:22). He had been begging there for many years.
Peter and John had three choices. Walk on by like most people do with those who are just part of the scenery. Slow down and drop a little something in his cup without making eye contact. Or stop and treat him like a person.

Peter acknowledged the beggar as a person of value. He stopped and talked with him. He told him to look at them (v. 4).

The lame man expected alms. Perhaps he had received alms from the disciples before. But Peter chose a different response. Instead of giving alms and moving on, he stopped and gave the man his hand (v. 7). And in the name of Jesus the man was healed.

So today, when you see that person that you’ve seen so many times before but don’t really know . . . stop and take a minute. Say or do something that values them as a person and see what God does!

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