two dancersOne more thought about the crippled beggar in Acts 3:

There is another person in this story to consider.  This unnamed person stays in the background and is easy to miss.

Someone had to carry that lame gentleman to the Gate Beautiful every morning.  Someone had to come back and carry him home every night.

This friend or family member probably thought it was the right thing to do.  It took a high level of commitment to make sure this poor man could at least spend his day in a high traffic area.  Sitting near the temple was good strategy, as religious people might have been more likely to drop a few sympathetic coins into the cup.  There was certainly deep compassion that drove this helper to physically carry a grown man and get him settled in for a day of begging.

What did the nameless care-taker think the evening he went back to the spot and found his friend walking and leaping and praising God?   Don’t you think he joined in the dance?  Can’t you just picture the two of them doing a jig right there in the temple courts?  The crippled beggar wasn’t the only one set free that day.  Every person who carried, washed, fed, and tended to the lame man received a miracle.

So, here’s the thing.  There are a lot of hurt people in our lives that we are carrying.  We have great compassion for what they are going through and we are committed to being there for the long haul.  We lift them up in prayer, we try to meet their needs, and we do it all from a sincere heart of love.  But if we are serious about real healing for our friends, we have to get them to Jesus.  Because when our wounded buddies go from begging to dancing, by the power of Jesus Christ, we are also set free.

We all move from survival to revival.

Dancing into Church

dancing feetPB started preaching through the book of Acts a couple of weeks ago.  I love Acts — it reads like a movie script with action-packed drama on every page.  Acts is short on doctrine and theology, but long on what it looks like to be a Christ-follower.  It should be a fun summer.

Last Sunday we took a good look at Acts 3 and I’ve been thinking about that crippled man begging outside the temple ever since.  All the poor man wanted was a little spare change, but instead he received an instant and complete healing.  When Peter spoke the name of Jesus over him, strength poured into his legs and you know those legs couldn’t help but dance.  “He jumped to his feet and began to walk. Then he went with them into the temple courts, walking and jumping, and praising God.”  (Acts 3:8) 

He danced right into church.

I know what it feels like to be a crippled beggar.

Stress and fear can lock me up, making me feel paralyzed.

Daily, I beg — for forgiveness…

for the ability to serve with gladness….

for an obedient heart.

But speak that precious Name over me and there’s power…

 to lift my head with the assurance of His love…

 to fill my heart with a fresh desire to serve…

to strengthen my will to carry out His.

We should all be dancing into church.

dancing feet 2