We have all heard something along the lines of Theodore Roosevelt’s quote, “Nothing in the world is worth having or worth doing unless it means effort, pain, difficulty.” This may sound like a negative outlook, but from experience, we know that sometimes the things of the most worth and value aren’t easy. This is often the case with our relationships, our work, our service at church. There are many times when we either drag our feet or simply avoid something that could be deeply rewarding because we are too lazy to put in the effort and energy it takes to do something.
Fortunately, Peter and John are a good example for us. After Jesus ascended to Heaven, we get to follow the apostles throughout Acts as they unpack Jesus’ teaching and share those messages with others. People were being saved daily and radically changing their lives because of the impact of the Gospel. You could imagine that Peter and John were busy men as they traveled and preached and spent time in fellowship with the other believers. This lifestyle was surely worthwhile, but I can’t help to think about how tired they must have been, how they probably wanted to lay around for a couple days, catching up on rest, or head out to the wilderness where they wouldn’t have to be talking with other people all day.
They knew the importance, though, of investing in God and filling their lives with Him so they would be able to help others. As we heard in the sermon this weekend, that’s why they were able to help the beggar lying at the temple gates. Though it may have been tedious or difficult at times, they were intentional about learning from Jesus’ teachings and practicing what it means to love their neighbors. They were able to live out this love as they were attentive to the needs of the beggar.
The beggar was looking for money or food, but Peter and John recognized that his true need was to be able to walk. They were able to see the man and the source of his problems. And because they had been investing in their lives with God, they also knew the solution.
Have we been filling our lives with things that will enable us to help others? When we see someone at a freeway offramp or at the front of the store, are we able to both recognize their need and respond appropriately? This often seems much easier said than done, but have we been filling our lives with things that can enable us to help others? Can we share the hope, love and redemption we have in Christ?
Instead of kicking our feet up and watching the next season of our favorite TV show, we should take time to develop our prayer life, devotion to God’s word and fellowship with other believers. Just as God was able to work a miracle through John and Peter, He can work miracles through us when we invest our time in Him.