WISDOM FOR LIVING DAILY DEVOTIONAL
OCTOBER 28, 2021
TOPIC: GIVE WHAT YOU HAVE
BY T. O. BANSO
“Then Peter said, ‘Silver and gold I do not have, but what I do have I give you: In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, rise up and walk’” (Acts 3:6 New King James Version).
As long as human beings live, they will always need one thing or the other. I am not talking about wants, which are sometimes innumerable. Needs are superior to wants. People seek different ways to meet their physical, emotional, or spiritual needs.
Whereas some people are self-centered and unconcerned about others’ needs, others are compassionate. While some do nothing to help others to meet their needs when they have the means to do so, others wish they have the power to help. Some, indeed, want to help but they don’t have what the person asking for help needs. And I am not talking only about money.
In Acts 3, Peter and John were not self-centred or insensitive to the need of the man, born lame, who was always laid at the Beautiful Gate to ask alms from those entering the temple. The Bible says when the lame man saw Peter and John about to go into the temple, he asked them for alms. He needed money but, unfortunately, Peter and John didn’t have any. This means they couldn’t meet his need. The logical thing would be for them to walk past him and go into the temple for their prayer. But they didn’t do that
But fixing his eyes on the man, Peter asked him to look at them and he did, He was expecting to receive something from them because that’s why he was there. He didn’t sit there to be counting the number of people who were going into the temple to pray! He must have thought they were going to give him a big amount of money with the ‘awareness’ Peter created by the instruction to look at them. Probably that was the first time a prospective giver had told him that. So he was expectant.
But Peter didn’t dip his hand into his pocket and give the man something. “Then Peter said, ‘Silver and gold I do not have, but what I do have I give you: In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, rise up and walk’” (Acts 3:6 New King James Version). Expectedly, when Peter said he didn’t have silver and gold, the man must have felt disappointed because that’s why he was there. He needed silver and gold! But Peter didn’t stop at that. He told him that he would give him something else. This might have raised the man’s expectation again. What could Peter have to give him since he didn’t silver and gold?
Peter didn’t bring what he said he had from his pocket. He spoke it out. “In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, rise up and walk.” The man would not have understood what all this meant. The man had gotten used to his lameness! He didn’t know that what he, indeed, needed was healing, not money.
While he was still wondering what was happening, Peter took him by the right hand and lifted him up. The Bible says immediately his feet and ankle bones received strength. He began to leap. He stood up, walked, and entered the temple with them — walking, leaping, and praising God. Everything changed for this man within a twinkle of an eye.
Everyone who frequented the temple for prayers knew the man very well and was thus surprised seeing him completely walking and praising God. Peter didn’t have gold and silver but he had the name of Jesus; he had the healing power of God. Peter didn’t say because what the man claimed to need was money and since he didn’t have money, he had nothing to give. No. He might not have money to give but he gave what he had.
Give what you have. It may be money and it may not be money. Sometimes what you have is what people need but they don’t know. Some people make the wrong requests. Somebody needs a job that would give him a regular income but instead, he is begging someone to give him money. How much would the person give him that would be enough?
Give what you have. Some people think they need money but what they actually need is Jesus in their lives. Without Jesus, no matter how much they are given, they may not be able to explain what becomes of it within a short period. They need the power of Jesus in their lives to help them to gather without Satan being able to scatter. You need to give Jesus to such people so that they will not become prey to the thief (Satan) who comes to steal, kill, and destroy.
Don’t be ashamed to give what you have even if it is financial help someone is asking you for. If you don’t have the amount he is asking for, give what you can afford. If he doesn’t want it, he can return it to you! You have done what you can. Half a loaf is better than none. A little assistance is better than nothing.
Give what you have. You may not be able to meet someone’s need as much as he wants but do what you can do. If he rejects it, that’s not your fault. Don’t pledge what you cannot give just because you want to please people or look good. This also applies to making pledges in church. Don’t pledge what you cannot give.
Deuteronomy 23:21-23 says, “When you make a vow to the LORD your God, you shall not delay to pay it; for the LORD your God will surely require it of you, and it would be sin to you. But if you abstain from vowing, it shall not be sin to you. That which has gone from your lips you shall keep and perform, for you voluntarily vowed to the LORD your God what you have promised with your mouth” (New King James Version).
Numbers 30:2 says a similar thing: “If a man makes a vow to the LORD, or swears an oath to bind himself by some agreement, he shall not break his word; he shall do according to all that proceeds out of his mouth” (New King James Version).
Hear also Ecclesiastes 5:4-5: “When you make a vow to God, do not delay to pay it; for He has no pleasure in fools. Pay what you have vowed — Better not to vow than to vow and not pay” (New King James Version). Don’t pledge, promise, or vow what you don’t have or cannot give.
It doesn’t matter what others give, give what you have. Don’t say because it’s small you won’t give. The poor widow in Mark 12:41-44 gave just two mites and Jesus said she had put in more than all those who had given to the treasury. He said that they all put in out of their abundance, but she out of her poverty put in all that she had – her whole livelihood.
Give what you have. God doesn’t love a grumbling giver but a cheerful giver. The apostle Paul said, “But this I say: He who sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and he who sows bountifully will also reap bountifully. So let each one give as he purposes in his heart, not grudgingly or of necessity; for God loves a cheerful giver. And God is able to make all grace abound toward you, that you, always having all sufficiency in all things, may have an abundance for every good work” (2 Corinthians 9:6-8 New King James Version). Give what you have. And don’t grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart (Galatians 6:9).
In Mark 14:3-9, the woman who poured a costly oil of spikenard on the head of Jesus gave what she had. Unfortunately, some people criticized her and said she wasted the oil. They had a ‘better idea’ what should have been done with the oil: sell it for more than three hundred denarii and give it to the poor. But Jesus praised the woman.
Mark 14:6-9 says, “But Jesus said, ‘Let her alone. Why do you trouble her? She has done a good work for Me. For you have the poor with you always, and whenever you wish you may do them good; but Me you do not have always. She has done what she could. She has come beforehand to anoint My body for burial. Assuredly, I say to you, wherever this gospel is preached in the whole world, what this woman has done will also be told as a memorial to her” (New King James Version).
Please take note of a phrase in this scripture: She has done what she could. The woman didn’t do what she could not; she did what she could. Do what you can. Don’t copy what others do, which you may not be able to do. Do what you can. Give what you have.
At the Beautiful Gate, Peter didn’t begin to trouble himself over the silver and gold he didn’t have. He had something already: the name of Jesus, which is superior to silver and gold. He had the healing power of God. Give what you have. Minister healing to the sick. Give Jesus to those yet to be saved. Everybody needs Jesus. Give what you have.
You may never be able to predict the impact that what you give may make, no matter how small or little it seems. Suppose the lad in John 6:5-13 did not give his five barley loaves and two small fish. We would never have known that five thousand men could be miraculously fed with them. While calling Peter’s attention to the lad’s meal, Andrew despised the meal as nothing in relation to the crowd to be fed. He said, “There is a lad here who has five barley loaves and two small fish, but what are they among so many?” (John 6:9 New King James Version). But after the people had eaten, twelve baskets were filled with the leftover pieces of bread.
Give what you have.
If you are not born again, you need to give your life to Jesus now. I urge you to take the following steps: *Admit that you are a sinner, and you cannot save yourself and repent of your sins. *Confess Jesus as your Lord and Saviour. *Renounce your past way of life – your relationship with the devil and his works. *Invite Jesus into your life. *As a mark of seriousness to mature in the faith, start attending a Bible-believing and Bible-teaching church. There they will teach you how to grow in the Kingdom of God.
Kindly say this prayer now: O Lord God, I come unto You today. I know I am a sinner, and I cannot save myself. I believe that Jesus is the Son of God who died on the cross to save me and resurrected the third day. I repent of my sins and confess Jesus as my Lord and Saviour. I surrender my life to Jesus now and invite Him into my heart. By this prayer, I know I am saved. Thank You, Jesus, for saving me and making me a child of God.
I believe you have said this prayer from your heart. Congratulations! You will need to join a Bible-believing and Bible-teaching church in your area where they will teach you how to live your new life in Christ Jesus. I pray that you flourish like the palm tree and grow like the cedar of Lebanon. May you grow into Christ in all things and become all God wants you to be. I will be glad to hear from you. The Lord be with you.
PRAYER POINTS: Holy Spirit, help me to be faithful in giving the gospel of Jesus Christ to others. Father, I will not hoard what you have given me. I will give according to my ability, not in competition with anyone; I will not be discouraged by another person’s giving. I shall not be a grumbling giver but a cheerful giver. I will give bountifully, not sparingly. I will give what I have in Jesus’ name.
(For over 600 in-depth and powerful messages by T. O. Banso, visit www.cedarministry.org).
T. O. Banso is the President, Cedar Ministry International, Abuja, Nigeria.
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