So they say that the Hebrew year 5774, which is this year, is the year of the door. This year we need to be closing doors that are not helpful and even harmful to us and watching for open doors that the Lord puts before us. When we see the open door, we are to go through it with boldness and confidence in the Lord with our shields of faith raised for protection because we know that when we step into new opportunities there will be challenges to face. It is now March, have you had any new opportunities open up yet?
As I look out my front window and see the homes around me; across the street and on either side of us and consider my neighbourhood, I see open doors. I sense an invitation from the Lord and a beckoning to get out of the boat, so to speak. I am reminded and challenged by a fresh call to connect and love those around us first, and then to those further off. I’m also reminded of John 3:16; that God so loved the world that He gave. God loves the whole world, not just those who have answered His call and to love, means to give; give of your time, give of your self, give what you have to give no matter how small you think it is. I’ve heard a story told of a young boy who gave his lunch away and it fed five thousand men and their families (John 6:1-13). I’ve also heard a story of a widow who gave only a few cents to the temple treasury and ended up giving more than anyone else because she gave all she had (Mark 12:41-44). Is it possible that God would take my meager offering of faith, care, love and prayer for those around me and multiply it too? If He did, I wonder what that would look like? I wonder how that might change the lives of those around me?
There’s another story of giving in the Bible involving a man who was lame from birth. He asked for money but was given something even more valuable. He was given healing and hope for a better life.
Acts 3:1-10 reads,
“Now Peter and John went up together to the temple at the hour of prayer, the ninth hour. 2 And 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; 3 who, seeing Peter and John about to go into the temple, asked for alms. 4 And fixing his eyes on him, with John, Peter said, “Look at us.” 5 So he gave them his attention, expecting to receive something from them. 6 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.” 7 And he took him by the right hand and lifted him up, and immediately his feet and ankle bones received strength. 8 So he, leaping up, stood and walked and entered the temple with them—walking, leaping, and praising God. 9 And all the people saw him walking and praising God. 10 Then they knew that it was he who sat begging alms at the Beautiful Gate of the temple; and they were filled with wonder and amazement at what had happened to him.”
Peter and John had no money to offer him but they did have the anointing of the Lord that breaks every yoke and overcomes every obstacle on earth. They had the Kingdom of God within them to share with all who would receive it.
Before Peter offered the man wholeness, Peter said to him, “Look at us.” Other versions of the Bible use an exclamation mark rather than a period suggesting that Peter was quite forceful when he said it. “Look at us!”. Why would Peter make such a demand? It seems the man originally asked for alms without looking at them. In fact, the man was used to not making eye contact with anyone. He was a begger; an outcast and not worthy of being acknowledged or noticed at all. But the first thing Peter does is something that possibly no other man has done before. The first thing Peter does is acknowledge him by making eye contact and in so doing tells the man, you are worthy to be seen. Could this be a precursor to being healed? Could the healing of your rejected soul be the first step in the healing for your body? It quite possibly was for this man who was lame every day of his life; who knew no different.
What would happen if we would believe God for everything that He said He gave us at salvation? Many of us don’t realize what we have and what we have to give away. We think that we don’t have very much to offer, so we just don’t give. But God is waiting for us to give what we have, so He can give us more.
So I look for doors of opportunities to give and I choose to take steps of faith and offer what I have. I will offer you what wisdom God is willing to give me and I will offer those around me compassion, a light touch of my hand with a big bold prayer and see what God will do with that.
If you are already a Christian, what are you willing to give those around you? If you’re not a Christ follower, what are you willing to receive?