From Excuses and Excesses to Exercising Holy Spirit Faith

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Acts 3:6–8 (NIV)

Then Peter said, “Silver or gold I do not have, but what I do have I give you. In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, walk.” 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.

CONSIDER THIS

“The Spirit of Jesus in me greets the Spirit of Jesus in you and brings us together in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, amen.”

Then Peter said, “Silver or gold I do not have, but what I do have I give you. In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, walk.” 

Two big mistakes people make with this storied text.

First mistake: We marvel at it as a unique miracle confined to the first century and consider it out of reach and not really even applicable to our twenty-first century context. 

Second mistake: We conduct stage shows where we push people out of wheel chairs, commanding them to walk in Jesus’ name.

And that’s about how it has gone with the ministry of the Holy Spirit over the last hundred years or so—excuses and excesses. Some people run to the show. Most run from it. Most people are trying to find a nice happy medium; you know, healthy tension, or balance. Well, if you are looking for balance, I’m not your guy. I’m looking for New Testament Christianity, which was anything but balanced. I need to keep pointing out we aren’t looking for first-century Christians. We are after first-generation Christians in the twenty-first century—day-after-the-day-of-Pentecost, Jesus people. It is within all of our reach to become these people. This will require significant growth, mainly in our mindset and our heart posture. It will also take the real exercising of faith. In the interest of being crystal clear, this text is not about how to do signs and wonders or about possessing some exceptional gift of the Holy Spirit. There is something far more fundamental going on here. There is a BFO (blinding flash of the obvious) tucked in here. Look again:

Then Peter said, “Silver or gold I do not have, but what I do have I give you. 

We cannot give what we do not have. We can only give what we actually have. 

What do we have? 

What I do have I give you . . . 

What do I have? 

Now, let me push with a what if. What if I have everything Jesus has? 

Still day one. 

THE PRAYER

God our Father, who with your son Jesus Messiah, fills us with the Holy Spirit, thank you for the miracle and the mystery of the day of Pentecost. And thank you for today, and that it is only the day after. Holy Spirit, would you unveil for us us the treasure of the enormity of resource we have in Jesus Messiah. Would you awaken me to what I have in you? Would you awaken me to who you are in me? Would you awaken me to who you are in me for others? Praying in Jesus’ name, amen. 

THE QUESTION

What do you have? 

P.S. Keeping you oriented with the Weekend on the Wake-Up call (aka the Daily Text)

Saturdays are for stories. We are telling Holy Spirit stories this summer. I will bring you another one tomorrow, but we want to hear yours. Six hundred words or so (reply to this email), or you can make a video here. Doesn’t need to be sensational. It can even be a fail (like most of mine). Remember, it takes faith to fail. And if you aren’t failing you are playing it safe. Sundays are for giants who have preceded us in the kingdom. We are working with E. Stanley Jones for the next long stretch (beautifully read by Farm Team Member, Micah Smith). I’ll be back to my meddling on Monday. ;0) 

For the Awakening,
J.D. Walt
Sower-in-Chief
seedbed.com

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WHAT IS THIS? Wake-Up Call is a daily encouragement to shake off the slumber of our busy lives and turn our eyes toward Jesus. Each morning our community gathers around a Scripture, a reflection, a prayer, and a few short questions, inviting us to reorient our lives around the love of Jesus that transforms our hearts, homes, churches, and cities.

Comments and Discussion

4 Responses

  1. Somewhere between
    Eager excuses
    And excessive effort
    We can surrender
    To the Lord
    And let His spiritual gifts
    Overflow with
    The fruit of His Spirit
    From within us
    As we open our heart
    As a conduit
    To graciously give
    What we have
    Flowing through us.
    (When we can’t do it,
    We can be God’s conduit.)

  2. What do I have?
    “His divine power has given us everything we need for a godly life through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness. Through these he has GIVEN us his very great and precious promises, so that through them you may participate in the divine nature, having escaped the corruption in the world caused by evil desires “. (2 Peter 1:3-4) In other words, we, through the in dwelling of the Holy Spirit, have been empowered to do even greater works than Jesus did when he was doing his earthly ministry. (John 14:12) What I lack, currently, is the depth of faith needed to put these truths into practice. I’m praying for that.

    1. 2 Peter. These are difficult verses but I’m not convinced they are saying we are able to do miracles.
      We have been given everything we need for a ‘godly life’ or ‘a life of godliness’ through knowledge of him. And through this we become partakers of the divine nature, or, become ‘son’s of God. (See NET footnotes for a more detailed explanation).
      With John 14 If we look at the ‘works’ of the apostles it seems clear that they didn’t surpass Jesus’s works in number of miracles or in the spectacular – what could be more spectacular than raising the dead? What they did surpass him in was in bringing people into kingdom life, adding them to the numbers saved. They brought them into the ‘redemptive community of Christ’ into ‘the Church Christ is building. Now just maybe there we have found one the thing more spectacular than the temporary physical ‘raising the dead’.
      I’m not negating the reality of miracles, then or now, I just think these verses don’t necessarily support them.

  3. JD, this series is challenging me so much (in a good way!). Yesterday this passage from Acts was all could think about while I prepared for working with a particular patient who has a huge stroke and is now physically fine but so deeply impaired in communication and orientation. She gets very agitated. As I prayed for her before work all could think was that I cannot fix her. Her brain is so broken. All can give her is Jesus and his love and power. Yesterday in our session I told her many times: look at me! And she did, even though she understands very little. I want to give her what Peter and James gave the beggar. But how do I do that? Do I just say, In the name of Jesus- speak clearly? I want to live in the power of the Holy Spirit but still very much on the journey of trying to understand how.

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