Acts 3: 6
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.’
Ephesians 1: 3
Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ.
1 Corinthians 1: 7
Therefore you do not lack any spiritual gift as you eagerly wait for our Lord Jesus Christ to be revealed.
1 Peter 2: 9
But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light.
When the lame man asks Peter and John for money, at first their response seems negative:
“Then Peter said, ‘Silver or gold I do not have….”
Most of us have probably said something similar when confronted with someone begging, collecting for charity or even selling ‘Big Issues’ magazine: “Sorry, I’ve no change right now.”
Peter was an uneducated former fisherman who had traded in his nets to become a disciple of Jesus. He was merely telling the truth – he didn’t have silver or gold. He was aware of what he didn’t have.
What would you replace ‘silver and gold’ with in Peter’s response?:
______ I do not have.
Most of us are very conscious of what we lack, of where we feel deficient, of our deep insecurities and sense of inadequacy in certain areas. No one needs to point them out. In fact, we probably do a good job of trying to cover them up and compensate for them.
However, that’s not where Peter finished his response to the lame man. Yes, he was aware of what he lacked – but he was even more aware of what he did have:
“… but what I do have I give you.”
Peter was endowed and equipped with spiritual authority and supernatural power. The authority came from permission by Jesus to pray in his name and the power came from the infilling of the Holy Spirit. Therefore he was able to boldly declare:
“In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, walk.’”
He didn’t need a long prayer meeting, soft worship music playing in the background, or even a “if it be the Lord’s will” tagged onto the end. Peter simply did what Jesus would do using the power and authority he had been given.
Authority is having permission to do something. Power is actually having the ability to do it. If the Prime Minister were to say to you: “I give you authority to go out and stand in the road and stop the traffic,” there’s a good chance you’ll get hit by a car because you might have the authority, but you don’t have the power to actually do it. But if she gives you authority and also gives you a PSNI uniform to wear – the traffic will stop because you now have both power and authority.
Jesus not only gives us permission to do what he did, he actually gives us his power to do it.
Do you know that, as a believer, you carry the same power and authority as Peter? As a child of God you have been granted permission to speak in Jesus’ name. You have the Holy Spirit living within you. You have been equipped and empowered to transform seemingly impossible situations. To bring life, healing, wholeness and hope into every place and space. It’s now up to you to use what is already yours.
During the Great Depression of the 1930’s, a man called Ira Yates owned a sheep ranch in West Texas. Because Yates wasn’t able to make enough money on his ranching operation to pay the mortgage, he was in danger of losing his ranch. With little money for clothes or food, his family, like many others during the depression years, had to live on government subsidies.
One day a crew of men from an oil company came into the area and convinced Yates there might be oil on his land. They asked permission to drill a test well. Yates agreed and signed a lease contract. At 1,115 feet, the drillers struck a huge oil reserve. The first well came in at 80,000 barrels a day. But that was only the beginning. Many more wells came in, some more than twice as productive as the first.
By the 1960’s, after oil had been pumped for more than 30 years, a government test of just one of the wells showed that it still had a potential flow of 125,000 barrels of oil a day. In the year 2000, Yates Field was still one of the top 10 producers of oil in the United States.
Think about it - Ira Yates, a poor sheep rancher struggling to make ends meet and living on subsidies, was a multi-millionaire, but hadn’t accessed what was rightfully his.
We too need to know who we are in Christ and make full use of all of the resources of Heaven which have been made available to us.
Beach Baptisms : Sunday 27th August
If you have recently become a Christian or have never had a chance to get baptised then we would love to encourage you to do so. Beach Baptisms will take place on Portstewart Strand on Sunday 27th August at 1.30 pm, followed by a beach barbecue!
You can sign up online at causewaycoastvineyard.com/baptism. Registration for Baptism will remain open until Friday 18th August.