In Gatlinburg, TN there are burned down dreams and memories in ash piles. A family grieves the loss of a son, not knowing whose anger caused the shots. Another grieves the loss of a father trying to do his job to serve and protect. In faraway places bullets ring out and bombs drop.
Long ago there was a man barely noticed by society. Pity of some helped carry him to the city gates each day so he could beg and maybe have enough to eat. But most wouldn’t look.
As two men walked by he called feebly ‘spare a dime sirs?’ Little did he know these two, though ordinary like you and me and him, had one thing he didn’t – and it wasn’t money. Peter and John looked straight at him (no one ever did that). Peter said “Look at us!” then he said ” Silver or gold I do not have, but what I have I give you. In the Name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, walk.” (Acts 3:6 NIV)
A hurting world is in need of our look. May I be compassionate enough to just smile at the person with the cardboard sign even if I don’t roll down the window. Let me wave to neighbors. Time to at least shine a flicker of the light He’s put in me – in you.
“Taking him by the right hand, he helped him up, and instantly the man’s feet and ankles became strong. 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 3:7-8 NIV)
So when a little extra overtime comes or a headache goes away, a broken relationship is mended or a storm parts to blue skies – do I jump up, do I go to worship, do I shout my praises?
What if we did?
An old man and his old wife had never had children. Yet they had been promised once that they would. When all hope seemed gone Sarah tells her Abraham ‘Guess what?’ and smiles like she’s twenty again. It is written of him “No unbelief made him waver concerning the promise of God but he grew strong in his faith as he gave glory to God, fully convinced that God was able to do what he had promised.” (Romans 4:20-21 NIV)
Me – you – we face our mountains. Sometimes we’re at the top with all the echoes of joy and sometimes we’re at the base with any hope of the other side seeming impossible. No unbelief – not that there isn’t any unbelief – but that even with our unbelief we have this Jesus in us, His Holy Spirit right in the here and now. We will not waver concerning the promise of God, we will grow strong in our faith, and we will do it by giving God the glory.
That’s how it works. In all of this it is the giving of glory that makes the difference. It wasn’t overnight for the beggar or the barren couple, and it’s not overnight for us. We will grow – and the growing is the journey, the adventure, the heartache that leads to the promise: forever with no more fires, no more shootings, no more brokenness. No unbelief will get in the way…
PURSUING GOD WITH PASSION
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