"Peter and John were going up to the temple for the hour of prayer at three in the afternoon. Now a man who had been crippled from birth was being carried in. Every day people would lay him at what was called the Beautiful Gate so that he could beg from those who were going into the temple. When he saw that Peter and John were about to go into the temple, he asked them to give him something. Peter, along with John, looked him straight in the eye and said, 'Look at us!' So the man watched them closely, expecting to get something from them. However, Peter said, 'I don't have any silver or gold, but I'll give you what I do have. In the name of Jesus Christ from Nazareth, walk!'" (Acts 3:1-6 ISV) [1]

In Bible times there was nothing wrong about begging if you could not work. You had to get money or food. If you could not work, the only way you could get these was to beg. In the Jewish laws it is written that Jewish people are to help those people who cannot work. In the Scripture above the man was lame and could not work. He had the best location for a beggar, right outside the temple gate that most people used. He would see just about everyone that went to the temple twice or three times a day to pray. He knew where he needed to go to get the most help.

Where do you go for help? You might go many places, but I would highly recommend two places for you to go for help. First, go to God. Pray to Him and let Him know what you need. Jesus asked blind Bartimaeus "What do you want me to do for you?" Believe it or not, some people have a hard time praying for themselves. They think they are not worthy to ask God for anything. We are not to treat God like Santa Claus, but He wants to know our needs so He can fill these needs. The other place to ask for help is in your church or from other Christians. We need to help each other.

Some people won't ask for help; from anyone. One reason may be pride. They think they can work it out themselves. They may have done things all their lives and at sometime had a setback but since they have always done things themselves, they think they can do it again by themselves. Don't be one of these but be willing to ask for help if it is really needed.

The beggar probably got a good deal of money from the people going into the gate. Most of us are pretty good at giving money and material goods when they are needed for different causes like local, national or international tragedies. There may be times when we are led to pray for someone who needs help who is too far away for us to physically help. There may be times when we see someone that needs our help and the Holy Spirit nudges us to help them in some other way than materially. This is what happened to Peter and John. The lame beggar was healed in the name of Jesus Christ. It was the Holy Spirit that led Peter and John to reach out to this man and heal him. No telling how many times they had passed this man as they daily went to the temple to pray. This was the day they were led to heal the man. You may be led to use one of the gifts of the Holy Spirit to help someone some day. Maybe it is a gift that you have never used before like healing. Then, the Holy Spirit leads you to pray for someone right there and they be healed. You might just be led to stay and talk to someone and counsel them to help them with their problems using the Scripture that the Holy Spirit brings to your mind.

In parts of the Southern United States you might hear someone ask somebody, "May I carry you to town?" This doesn't mean they want to pick you up, put you over their shoulder and physically carry you to town. What they mean is that they are offering you a ride to town. The lame beggar had two men who had to carry him to the temple gate every day. As mentioned above, some people won't ask for help. Sometimes we have to carry people to help. Sometimes it might be some people who have always done things by themselves but cannot do some of them now. You may have to insist on helping them. I heard of one family that had a long bout of sickness and early in the sickness someone from their church came and asked if the church members could do something to help. They said everything was under control. The church member kept asking when finally they said that they could use help with meals. Several days a week different church members would bring meals to the family. The member who first went and asked if there was anything they could do carried this family to the help.

As Christians, we are to help others. Look for ways to help and be sensitive to the leading of the Holy Spirit in your daily walk. You may be led to give something, pray for someone, carry someone to help or use one of the gifts of the Holy Spirit to help them.

By Dean W. Masters

homefurn@preferred.com Unedited redistribution approved

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[1] International standard version New Testament : Version 1.1. 2000 (Print on Demand ed.). The Learning Foundation: Yorba Linda, CA