Searching to Obtain a “Soul Lift” Instead of a “Facelift”

A “New Image” for the Old–

A woman who turned 101 years old, was asked by a local news reporter, what she thought of living to such a ripe old age.  Her reply made me tickled:

“You know this growing old stuff is for the birds.  But considering the alternate, I’ll take growing old.”

When I reached the age of collecting Social Security and Medicare benefits in my 60’s, the “You Know You’re Getting Older When…” jokes began to play against my self-worthiness.  I know, a ‘man of God’ concerned about what he looked like in the mirror? Sorry, it happens sometimes.

“You know you’re getting old when…”

*  You and your teeth don’t sleep together.

*  You try to straighten out the wrinkles in your socks and discover you aren’t wearing any.

*  You are on a first name basis with your pharmacist.

That last little “giggle” really applies in my life.  Walking into our small town pharmacist the other day to pick up a called in prescription when a voice rang out,  “Hi Mel!”  And of course, I returned the greeting and yelled across the store “Hi Jerry!!” instead of yelling back across the pharmacy counter, “What ya’ say?”.  But as the lady centenarian exclaimed, “considering the alternate…”; guess I can still chuckle at “getting older” jokes.

SCRIPTURE 2 Corinthians 4:16-18 Amplified Bible:

[16] Therefore we do not become discouraged (utterly spiritless, exhausted, and wearied out through fear). Though our outer man is [progressively] decaying and wasting away, yet our inner self is being [progressively] renewed day after day.

[17]  For our light, momentary affliction (this slight distress of the passing hour) is ever more and more abundantly preparing and producing and achieving for us an everlasting weight of glory  [beyond all measure, excessively surpassing all comparisons and all calculations, a vast and transcendent glory and blessedness never to cease!].

[18]  Since we consider and look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen; for the things that are visible are temporal (brief and fleeting), but the things that are invisible are deathless and everlasting.

We Are Living in a Plastic Surgery World!

I recently read in a survey dealing with plastic surgery in America, that 48% of women are interested in liposuction, cosmetic surgery, or a combination of the two.  An additional 23% said they would “possibly” be interested [Footnote [i] ].

Despite the traditional implications of cosmetic surgery as a feminine procedure, a surprising number of men expressed a similar interest.  Twenty-three percent of the men surveyed said they were definitely interested, 17% said they “might be interested [Footnote [i] ].

Outwardly we are wasting away! (2 Corinthians 4:16)

The apostle Paul’s opponents FOCUSED on the bodily presence, worldly skills, and money.  Sound familiar today?

The Greco-Roman world worshiped the body, consider the Olympic Games.  They focused exclusively on the external: exo anthropos; dee-af-thi-ro; “to rot thoroughly” – i.e. to ruin – corrupt, destroy, perish.

2 Corinthians 4:4:  “For the god of this world has blinded the unbelievers’ minds [that they should not discern the truth], preventing them from seeing the illuminating light of the Gospel of the glory of Christ (the Messiah), Who is the Image and likeness of God.”

Verse 4:18:  “Since we consider and look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen; for the things that are visible are temporal (brief and fleeting), but the things that are invisible are deathless and everlasting.”

In Paul’s Day…

In Paul’s day, as in our day, most people seem to focus on what is VISIBLE and FLEETING.

In our culture the “worship” of the human body.  Someone watching on TV an infomercial while eating Nachos, seeing a person receiving a stomach bypass surgery, collagen injections and liposuction.  Is there something wrong with that picture?

Our actions to resist the inevitable becomes obvious and therefore ridiculous.  If you can get a tan in a can, why get one?

EMBRACE your aging, regardless your number!

“As a white candle

In a holy place,

So is the beauty

Of an aged face.”

[Footnote [ii]]

ANTITHESIS: Inwardly we are being RENEWED day by day (2 Corinthians 4:16):

Paul tells us there is another option available to seek:  We can be RENEWED “day by day” – Our “earthly home” or “earthly tent” (2 Corinthians 4:16; 5:1, 4).

Some of the most  handsome, beautiful people I know and recognize in this life are godly people.

graham
Billy Graham

 

Mother Teresa
Mother Teresa

CHOOSE to focus on the INVISIBLE and the ETERNAL:

The Human Heart –

“seek” or “search” to have a SOUL LIFT instead of a FACELIFT.  The start begins with the inward renovation  with Jesus Christ:

“Always carrying about in the body the liability and exposure to the same putting to death that the Lord Jesus suffered, so that the [resurrection] life of Jesus also may be shown forth by and in our bodies”               (2 Corinthians 4:10 AMP).

It is a daily process, “day after day”; His life in us and not our life.

SYNTHESES–Deductive Reasoning comes into play at this point–

We have “precious treasure” stored in JARS OF CLAY:

“We possess this precious treasure [the divine Light of the Gospel] in [frail, human] vessels of earth, that the grandeur and 4200524837_e5ef456736exceeding greatness of the power may be shown to be from God and not from ourselves”  (2 Corinthians 4:7 AMP).

The NIV translation of the above verse says “jars of clay”; baked clay pots, cheap, breakable and replaceable but still serves a necessary function:

*  2 Cor. 4:16;

*  4:7  “may be shown”

*  4:17  

ILLUSTRATION of treasure in “jars of clay”

We can possess God’s LOVE within our lives, but if all you have is the outward, then it will pass away:

“Therefore you not lack any spiritual gift as you eagerly wait for our Lord Jesus Christ to be revealed.  He will keep you strong to the end, so that you will be blameless on the day of our Lord Jesus Christ”                   (1 Corinthians 1:7, 8 NIV).

To focus on the outward and neglect the inward is but “Fool’s Gold.”

2008 Fitness magazine poll:

1,000 women were asked what they would do to get their desired weight:  21% said they would trade ten years of their life!

The greatest prize to find in life is…

Not your outer appearance but your inward glory.  When it comes right down to it, true makeovers happen from the inside out.  Care and maintain your body image, but do not worship your body.

The “Disobedient Body” – a Story by Philip Yancey (See Footnotes for source) – A powerful Metaphor for the Church:

HOPE

I have a bright, talented and very funny friend in Seattle named Carolyn Martin.  But Carolyn has cerebral palsy, and it is the peculiar tragedy of her condition that its outward signs–drooling, floppy arm movements, inarticulate speech, a bobbing head–caused people who meet her to wonder if she is retarded.  Actually, her mind is one part of her that works perfectly; it is muscular control she lacks.

Carolyn lived for 15 years in a home for the mentally retarded, because the state had no other place to put her.  Her closest friends were people like Larry, who tore all his clothes off and ate the institution’s houseplants, and Arlene, who only knew three sentences and called everyone “Mama.”  Carolyn determined to escape from that home and to find a meaningful place for herself in the outside world.

Eventually, she did manage to move out and establish a home of her own.  There, the simplest chores posed an overwhelming challenge.  It took her three months to learn to brew a pot of coffee and pour it into cups without scalding herself.  But Carolyn mastered that feat and many others.  She enrolled in high school, graduated, then signed up for community college.

Everyone on campus knew Carolyn as “the disabled person.”  They would see her sitting in a wheelchair, hunched over, painstakingly typing out notes on a device called a Cannon Communicator.  Few felt comfortable talking with her, they could not follow her jumbled sounds.  But Carolyn persevered, stretching out a two-year Associate of Arts degree program over seven years.  Next, she enrolled in a Lutheran college to study the Bible.  After two years there, she was asked to speak to her fellow students in chapel.

Carolyn worked many hours on her address.  She typed out the final draft–at her average speed of 45 words per minute a page–and asked her friend Josee to read it for her…Josee had a strong, clear voice.

On the day of the chapel service, Carolyn sat slumped in her wheelchair on the left side of the platform.  At times her arms jerked uncontrollably, her head lolled to one side so that it almost touched her shoulder, and a stream of saliva sometimes ran down her blouse.  Beside her stood Josee, who read the mature and graceful prose Carolyn had composed, centered around the Bible text: “But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surprising power is from God but not from us.”

For the first time, those students saw Carolyn as a complete human being, like themselves.  Before then her mind, a very good mind, had always been inhibited by a “disobedient” body, and difficulties with speech had masked her intelligence.  But hearing her address read aloud as they looked at her on stage, the students could see past the body in a wheelchair and imagine the whole person.

 


FOOTNOTES:

[i] – Statistics, Surveys and Trends – American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery.

[ii] – Joseph Campbell, “The Old Woman”.

Photo Credits:

Billy Graham – BG Photo cnsnews.com

Mother Teresa – Google Photos at  http://www.biography.com/mother-teresa/

 – Photo Pin.

Story Source Credit:

The “Disobedient Body” / “Disappoint with God” a  story of Carolyn Martin; the “Hope” chapter by Philip Yancey – https://books-google.com/books 2009. 

 

“I’m MAD as Hell, and I’m Not Going to Take this anymore!”

Mad_as_HellThe infamous line in the movie Network is often used to describe our hectic lives.

How many of us have ever felt the pressures of life?  Let’s not fool ourselves.  We live in a fallen world surrounded by everyday troubles and stresses. 

*  Financial

*  Family

*  Ministry

*  A nation in conflict

“I’m at my wit’s end over all this!”

THE APOSTLE PAUL Addresses the Issue – 2 Corinthians 4:7-12 NIV:

But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all surpassing power is from God and not from us.  [8] We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair;  [9] persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed.  [10] We always carry around in our body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be revealed in our body.  [11] For we who are alive are always being given over to death for Jesus’ sake, so that his life may be revealed in our mortal body.  [12] So then, death is at work in us, but life is at work in you.”

Looking at this Scripture, we can discover a few applications from it–

#1.  You and I are going to have problems.

Here we have Paul, who wrote the majority of the New Testament and having and facing problems in his life.

—  He was shipwrecked 3 times…

—  Beaten…

—  Put in prison multiple times…

  He had many ministry issues…

—  He had a “thorn in the flesh…

It doesn’t matter who you are, how spiritually mature or immature, you are going to experience problems and pressures in your life.  Just because you come to JESUS, it doesn’t mean that the world and your enemy are going to cut you any slack.  In fact, it will probably intensify!  And, you might even say to yourself at times…“I’m mad as hell, and I’m not going to take this anymore!” 

Overcoming the Types of Problems and Stresses in Life–Soda Pop Cans and “Jars of Clay”

Paul not only describes the types of problems and stresses we all face, but how to overcome them at the same time.

A.  I’m PRESSED but not CRUSHED!

Paul is telling us we are “hard pressed on every side.”  This is the PRESSURE OF THE WORLD.  But, I am NOT crushed – Why?

An Illustration:

Unopened Can
Unopened Can

TWO ALUMINUM POP CANS – One can is unopened and full of soda pop.  The other can is opened and empty.

If I take the FIRST CAN and squeeze with all my might, I can’t crush it.  Now, I know that with enough pressure the can will rupture, so bear with me in this.

CRUSHED CAN
CRUSHED CAN

If I take the EMPTY CAN and apply only a small amount of pressure, it will collapse.  I wasn’t able to crush the first can because it isn’t open to the world.  SECONDLY, there is something inside.

“He Who lives in you is greater (mightier) than he who is in the world”  (1 John 4:4).

ONE CAN collapsed easily–

1.)  Was open to the world.

2.)  There was nothing on the inside.

How then can we be PRESSED but not CRUSHED?

We make a decision not to open up to the world; to allow Christ Jesus to be our strength.

B.  I’M CONFUSED, BUT NOT FREAKING OUT!  (verse 8)

The word “PERPLEXED” in the Greek language literally translates  “to have no way out; to be at a mental loss.”

Have you ever been confused?  Not knowing where to turn or what to do?  Yes, we have all dealt with circumstances in life where we thought there was no way out.

So how is it that we can be “at a mental loss” and not FREAK OUT saying, “I’m not going to take this anymore!”?

Same reason as before:  IT IS CHRIST WITHIN ME!

Jesus is ALL-KNOWING!

He is OMNISCIENT!

He knows what tomorrow holds!

He is in control.

The reason I’m not freaking out is because I know God is going to work it all out for my good.

“And we know that God causes EVERYTHING to work together for the good of those who LOVE GOD and are called according to His purpose of them”  (Romans 8:28 NLT–capitalized for emphasis).

God might be working you right now, but He’s working you for your own good.  TRUST in His promises.

C.  I’m Bloody, Not Broken.

If you get smacked in the nose, it hurts!  Your eyes well up with TEARS dealing with real pain.

I remember playing baseball in High School one year, and while in the batter’s box waiting for the pitch, I was struck between the eyes with a fastball.  It broke the safety-glasses I was wearing in half.  No blood, but suffered two black eyes and plenty of tears from the pain.

In LIFE, we all deal with hurts, wounds and yes, even black eyes.  It may come from our PAST or PRESENT situations.

How then, can we deal with our HURTS and still PRESS forward?

Allow Christ to manifest Himself in your life through the Word of God.

Build up RELATIONSHIPS of other brothers and sisters in Christ which helps us through our tough times.  Sometimes we just need someone with skin on them to comfort us in a time of need (2 Corinthians 1:3-4).

D.  I’m Knocked Down, Not Knocked Out!

Yes, sometimes we do get knocked down; hit in the gut by betrayal, death of a loved one, loss of finances…the wind is knock completely out of us as we lie gasping for breath and afraid to get back up on our feet.

FEAR of being hit again can keep you down.

DOUBT can keep you down.

The only person keeping you on the mat…IS YOU!

Why cant the DEVIL keep me down?  Because Christ is in me.  The devil and every demon in hell couldn’t keep Him down!

“Behold! I have given you authority and power to trample upon serpents and scorpions, and [physical and mental strength and ability] over ALL the power that the enemy [possesses]; and NOTHING shall in any way harm you”  (Luke 10:19 AMP).

HOW CAN I ‘KEEP ON, KEEPING ON’, WITHOUT GETTING MAD AT MY REOCCURRING CIRCUMSTANCES?

It’s coming to the REALIZATION…it’s not about you.

It’s a CHRIST thing.

To be a Christian you need to let JESUS, not you, control your life.

You have to SUBMIT to Him fully–not half way; not kinda, sorta, BUT fully!   This allows Him to flow through you.  Remember, you’re going to have problems.  There’s no escaping it.

I have been BLESSED to be a part of 5 Billy Graham Crusades over my Christian life.  I will always remember George Beverly Shea; Canadian born, American gospel singer and hymn composer, who died this past April 2013 at the age of 104.  One song in particular he composed and used to sing at the Crusades fits in nicely I think with 2 Corinthians 4:7-12:  I’d Rather Have Jesus than…

He’s fairer than lilies of rarest bloom;

He’s sweeter than honey from out of the comb;

He’s all that my hungering spirit needs;

I’d rather have Jesus and let Him lead.

WITHOUT HIM, I CAN BE…

–  Crushed

–  Freak Out

–  Be broken

–  Be knocked out

JESUS tells us this:

“And Jesus said,  [You say to Me],  If You can do anything?  [Why,] ALL things can be (are possible) to him who believes!”  (Mark 9:23 AMP).

Our Approach to the Gate Called “Beautiful”

th
Entering the Gate

ONE HISTORICAL ACCOUNTING & LOCATION OF THE “BEAUTIFUL GATE”:

In my detective investigation for this POST, I discovered many scholars seem to disagree with the exact location of THE GATE CALLED “BEAUTIFUL”.

I tend to side with Leen Ritmeyer’s Archaelogical Design and his explanations of the historical account in relationship to The “Beautiful Gate” ; connecting the description found in Acts 3:2, 10:  

jlm_herod_tm_s_m01-copy-copy

There was The Double Gate located at the southern wall of the Temple Mount.  A 210 feet (64 m) wide monumental stairway led up to this gate from the lower plaza.  Because of its monumental proportions, this gate was probably used by most pilgrims going up to worship and pray at the Temple [www.ritmeyer.com/2010/12/14/the-beautiful-gate-of-the-temple/].

jlm_herod_tm_dgate_d01-copy

THE MAN AT THE BEAUTIFUL GATE:

Acts 3:1-2:

“[1] ONE DAY Peter and John were going up to the temple at the time of prayer–at three in the afternoon.  [2] Now a man crippled from birth was being carried to the temple gate called Beautiful, where he was put every day to beg from those going into the temple courts”  (NIV).

Here we see a man who was crippled at birth and earned his living by begging.  In taking liberties and reading “between the lines”, I began to look closely at the facts presented by Dr. Luke.

#1.  Every day, this man was carried to and from the church (“temple”) gate.  That FACT tells me that he had friends or family that helped him.

So, why do you think they called the “temple gate BEAUTIFUL”?  

My guess is, the people might like to make their entrance here through the beautiful way and enjoyed the aesthetics of the place.  Especially the art work and engravings of Solomon’s Porch [above drawing].

A Crippled Beggar
A Crippled Beggar

But, how does the “crippled beggar” fit into this picture of perfection?  

He doesn’t fit in! Presumably this majestic and beautiful gate prepared your mind to worship an awesome God.  Then you open your eyes and your smile of contentment begins to fade as you spy the beggar lying or sitting in the dust.  Your spirit feels fingernails screeching along a blackboard.

It’s like when driving down the road to the supermarket and glancing towards the curb at a stop light.  There stands an unkempt stranger holding a sign that reads, “HOMELESS – NEED HELP”.  You try not to give him any notice, feeling that eye contact will only encourage him.  OUCH!   “Another “homeless beggar” on the street.”  And soon as the RED LIGHT turns green, you step on the gas and you’re off!  Safe and secure from all alarm!

So Why Was The Beggar There?

Why do the temple authorities permit this to happen every day at the Church Gate?  The beggar wouldn’t sit there every day unless…he was making money.

What this shows to me is that the “church goers” had a heart for those less fortunate.  Not all the attendees were going for the “beauty experience”; they were going to worship God.  No one said the beggar was there by the temple (the visible dwelling place of God) because he hoped to be healed in his proximity to God.

Was this Beggar hoping for a miracle or is he looking for help from man?

“So when he (the “beggar”) saw Peter and John about to go into the temple, he asked them to give him a gift.  And Peter directed his gaze intently at him, and so did John and said, Look at us!  And [the man] paid attention to them, expecting that he was going to get something from them”  (Acts 3:3-5 AMP).

Based alone on the above verses, it’s clear to me… the man was looking for a “hand-out” and not a “hand-up”.  He was begging for monetary relief.

Are we like this crippled beggar?  We come close to God, but look to man for help?  We come close to God, but look for temporary relief for what is really ailing us?

You might be thinking, “I’m not crippled, a beggar either.”  Maybe not physically crippled, but maybe crippled from brokenness or strife in your life over the years from all types reasons.

Mary Lowry and Buddy Greene wrote the lyrics to a great Bill & Gloria Gaither song that was popular in the 70’s:

Something beautiful, something good

All my confusion He understood

All I had to offer Him was brokenness and strife

But He made something beautiful of my life.

NOTICE ALL THE DISCUSSION ABOUT WHO IS LOOKING AT WHAT AT THE GATE CALLED “BEAUTIFUL”:

(VERSE 4)  “And Peter, fastening his eyes upon him (the “beggar”) with John, said, LOOK ON US”  (KJV).

Verse 4 tells us that Peter and John looked, gazed intently, fixed their eyes, looked “straight at the beggar”.  Then Peter told the crippled man to look at them.  Was Peter suggesting that the beggar should look back at them…to receive a healing?  Did the beggar expect to get something in return for all this eye contact?

“YES”.  (See verse 5):  “And [the man] paid attention to them, expecting that he was going to get something from them.”  Peter wanted to have this man’s undivided attention!

So whose FAITH is revealed?

[6] “But Peter said, Silver and gold (money) I do not have; but what I do have, that I give to you; in [the use of] the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, WALK!  [7] Then he took hold of the man’s right hand with a firm grip and raised him up.  And at once his feet and ankle bones became strong and steady.  [8] And leaping forth he stood and began to walk, and he went into the temple with them, walking and leaping and praising God”  (Acts 3:6-8 AMP).

Did this “crippled beggar” have FAITH that he would be healed?

The Bible verses makes it clear–he expected money, not healing.  However, when he was told to walk he obeyed; the man crippled from birth, who was brought every day to beg before the Beautiful Gate, made the effort to rise up!

Don’t you wish that when things aren’t going the way you expected, that God would just “Do it”?  Well, if the “crippled beggar” wasn’t obedient to Peter’s words to STAND…would he have been healed, or would God have healed him right where he sat?

FAITH IS AN EXPRESSION:

I love Creflo Dollar’s definition of FAITH:  “Faith is…the practical expression of the confidence in God and His Word.”

The CRIPPLED BEGGAR was giving his practical expression; his faith being expressed in confidence and obeying the command of the apostles AUTHORITY.

Peter said in verse 4, “what I have I give you…”  And what did Peter have?  Did Peter have power to heal?

In my detective work this past week, I came upon a commentary Interpreting Acts by Harrison (p.79), where he says,  “In himself Peter had not more power to bestow healing than he had money in his wallet.”  Is Harrison right?

Matthew 10:8 reads,  “Cure the sick, raise the dead, cleanse the lepers, drive out demons.  Freely you have received, freely give.” 

The Message Bible reads,  “Tell them that the kingdom is here.  Bring health to the sick.  Raise the dead.  Touch the untouchables.  Kick out the demons.  You have been treated generously, so live generously.” 

Is this what Peter was giving in Acts 3?

According to Matthew 10:1, what Peter had, was AUTHORITY, in the name of JESUS to HEAL.

“AND HAVING summoned His twelve disciples, He gave them AUTHORITY over unclean spirits, to cast them out, and HEAL EVERY KIND of disease and every kind of sickness.”

PETER had authority to use Jesus’ name.  But he links two concepts together in Acts 3:16:

–He says, “Jesus name”.

–He says “the faith that comes through [JESUS] has given complete healing.”

Do We Who Live in the 21st Century Have the Authority to Use Jesus’ Name As Effectively?

Here is just a few Bible references that will answer that question if you are in doubt of your effectiveness as you approach the Gate Called “Beautiful”:

[ 1 Corinthians 12:4-11; Ephesians 4:7-13; Romans 12:4-8 ].

The referenced verses above, all talk about “gifts” — all of us as Christians can have the same effectiveness through the Holy Spirit.

1 Corinthians 12:9 specifically mentions “healing” as a gift.

Does that AUTHORITY rest only on those who are “worthy”?  Does that God-given AUTHORITY rest only on those who “have faith”?

“JARS OF CLAY”  Might Be the Answer–

JARS OF CLAY
JARS OF CLAY

What is meant by “jars of clay?”  (Us!)

2 Corinthians 4:7:  “But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us”  (NIV).

I can understand on the surface why we can be called “clay” (Gen. 2:7).  But why are we “JARS”?

As I looked more closely at the apostle Paul’s words in VERSE 7, what I received was–JARS HOLD SOMETHING!  And in this situation–a “treasure”.

So what is that “TREASURE”?  

The knowledge of God reflected in JESUS (verse 6) in the POWER from God (verse 7).  “WOW”, I thought to myself.  Is “this treasure” not being shared with others?

Does the FACT that the “JAR” holds a treasure mean…the jar in and of itself is a treasure?

Peter’s Story in Luke 22: 

Peter confesses to Jesus,  Lord, I am ready to go with You to prison and death (verse 33).  

Was this true, did he really know his own heart?

In verses 49-50 and John 18:10, the words cast additional light that reveals the servant who drew his sword was…PETER; it shows that Peter was willing to stand and fight and die for his Lord!

So how did Peter get from being willing to die to repeated denial in Luke 22:55-60?

He believed in his sword with the fact that together, they could win this fight.

When Jesus allowed Himself to be taken captive, it turned Peter’s ideas upside-down.  It wasn’t supposed to happen this way.  Do you see the same parallel occurring between the crippled beggar– at the gate called ” BEAUTIFUL”– and Peter during the Luke 22 happenings?

What stuck out clearly to me was the beggar was close to God but was depending upon man and his sharp Realtor’s idea of location, location, location; how to get man to provide for his own personal welfare…every day!

Peter was close to God, but depending on his sword and his idea of how things needed to turn out.

So if Peter is much like the beggar he healed in Acts 3, why does he get to heal?

In this First Church–why this apostle, this follower of Jesus in His ministry on earth…why does he have such moral superiority that he can call God to heal the crippled beggar?

I know that this a wordy question to ponder.  The point is…Peter doesn’t have “moral superiority”.  What he has is knowledge that he’s just a “jar of clay.”  And, the “jars of clay” and their treasures are as current in today’s churches as they were in the First Church!

Unlike the beggar, unlike his ideas accumulated in Luke 22, Peter now realizes the TRUTH!

“And Peter…answered the people,  You men of Israel, why are you so surprised and wondering at this (healing of the crippled beggar)?  Why do you keep staring at us, as though by our [own individual] power or [active] piety we had made this man [able] to walk?”  (Acts 3:12 AMP).

The realization is the “authority” allows the POWER of God to work through FAITH.

“Healers in Need of Healing”

Do we sometimes get confused in our churches we attend, believing that we are part of the “treasure” instead of just the “jars” holding the treasure?

Are you a devoted Christian as long as things go the way you planned?  And if they don’t, you find yourself “crippled” by circumstances to move on?

Do you believe you should get part of the “credit” for your work in advancing the gospel?

Some soul-searching questions to ask ourselves as Christians.  God works most powerfully through JARS, who clearly understand their role and content to trust God in whatever transpires.