For Now and Forever
by Impact Church
3:1 Now Peter and John were going up to the temple at the ninth hour, the hour of prayer. 2 And a man who had been lame from his mother’s womb was being carried along, whom they used to set down every day at the gate of the temple which is called Beautiful, in order to beg alms of those who were entering the temple. 3 When he saw Peter and John about to go into the temple, he began asking to receive alms. 4 But Peter, along with John, fixed his gaze on him and said, “Look at us!” 5And he began to give them his attention, expecting to receive something from them. 6 But Peter said, “I do not possess silver and gold, but what I do have I give to you: In the name of Jesus Christ the Nazarene-walk!” 7 And seizing him by the right hand, he raised him up; and immediately his feet and his ankles were strengthened. 8 With a leap he stood upright and began to walk; and he entered the temple with them, walking and leaping and praising God. 9 And all the people saw him walking and praising God; 10 and they were taking note of him as being the one who used to sit at the Beautiful Gate of the temple to beg alms, and they were filled with wonder and amazement at what had happened to him. Acts 3:1-10
Living with a chronic, debilitating physical ailment will defeat anyone faster than anything else. Whether it is a toothache, a splinter, or a blister there are several things that will cause us great discomfort and change our view of the world. Most of the drug industry is fueled by the simple need to relieve pain. But an ailment that no drug can remove is a real test for one’s faith.
In Acts 3, the story of the lame man begging for alms, or as we know it, money, highlights the plight of man in the natural world: he is broken down by the things that occur in life. No explanation for its cause and no solution for its remedy, all that the family could hope for was money to attend to their basic needs for food. A lame man cannot work to support himself or his family, so he begs on the street.
Someone carried the chronically lame man to the same place in Jerusalem every day. Ironically, he was placed at the Beautiful Gate near the Temple. There was nothing Beautiful about his condition and God, as symbolized by the Temple, had not made a difference in his life. While people may have helped in the days before, his need remained and every day his family carried him to the place to beg.
In a change in world history and with the institution of a new economy, the apostolic team of Peter and John walked by the lame man. Headed to the Temple, these two stars of the Apostolic troupe looked hard at the beggar and called out, “Look at us!” Expecting to receive alms, or money from the two, the man looked at the men. What he expected would be the same old gift that only comforted his ailment and didn’t heal his body.
Peter, by the authority of Jesus Christ and in the power of the Holy Spirit told the man to do the same thing Jesus Christ had said in John 5 to the lame man at the Sheep Gate, “Walk!” The man was pulled up by the hand and his feet and ankles, atrophied by lack of use, were suddenly strengthened. The renewed man leapt and then began to walk and went with the apostles into the temple. He didn’t just walk, he was walking and leaping and praising God. And the people noticed.
Impact Church and the Impact Autism Camp recognize the needs of the families of children with autism. Every week, Impact’s leaders are walking into the building and are prepared to welcome those special children in the name of Jesus Christ. Each week, in faith, the members of Impact are believing and teaching those precious children, building into them faith that focuses on Jesus Christ the Nazarene. The children are encouraged to “walk”, to take steps of faith and in God’s plan and timing, our children will.
Today was another example of the heart of Impact Church and its ministry to the families and children with autism. Sarah Althoff and her summer school team hosted the biggest Impact Autism Extravaganza in the history of Impact Church. The families came and the volunteers served to create an environment of love and celebration in the name of Jesus Christ. The children were honored and celebrated for who they are in the name of the Beautiful Savior, Jesus Christ.
Please enjoy the pictures and listen for the stories of this special day.