1 One day Peter and John were going up to the temple at the time of prayer—at three in the afternoon. 2 Now a man who was lame from birth was being carried to the temple gate called Beautiful, where he was put every day to beg from those going into the temple courts. 3 When he saw Peter and John about to enter, he asked them for money. 4 Peter looked straight at him, as did John. Then Peter said, “Look at us!” 5So the man gave them his attention, expecting to get something from them. 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.” 7 Taking him by the right hand, he helped him up, and instantly the man’s feet and ankles became strong.
People are searching. Single people, Married people, Toddlers and Retirees. We’re all seeking to fill a void that only God can fill. It doesn’t matter what season of life you categorize yourself in; no matter what socio-economic status, age or educational background, we are all seekers.
Outside of seeking a deeper walk and relationship with Jesus, my Savior, I seek out authenticity in people. Growing-up, I was held to a high expectation, a certain standard; one at times I could not sustain. Jesus sustains me. I’ve found throughout my life that I have held people to a high standard, because I projected my dogmatic, idealistic, sometimes unrealistic standards on others and often that drove people away.
On Sunday afternoon, after having viewed an On-demand Sermon by Craig Groeschel with LifeChurch.tv, I had a great conversation with one of my neighbors about something I had learned from Craig’s sermon. The gist of the message dealt with restoration vs relief. It is so refreshing to hear a Pastor speak on something that makes so much sense and be able to bring it full-circle in a Biblical format and stand on Biblical principles!
I chose the Acts 3:1-7 verses above as my starting point because that is what Pastor Craig based his sermon on. It is about helping people. As Christ followers, God uses us to be the conduit to Him to help others find restoration from their problems. We need to stop relieving people of their temporary issues that keep them stuck and in bondage to the same issues, sometimes for years! Jesus, through the Holy Spirit, does the same for Christians.
“Re” means again, backwards, back or anew, back to the starting place. God is a God of Renewal. Meditate on these words as you think about God. Rebirth, Recompense, Restored, Revived, Refilled, Receive, Reconcile, Refines, Redeems, Refreshes, Rejoices, Resurrects, Repairs” -Joyce Meyer
For instance, if my friend Jaime has a problem with money and I gave him $50 to relieve him of a certain financial commitment, that isn’t teaching him anything about how to rise above his circumstances so that the next time he has a financial need he is able to handle it on his own. If I take the time to counsel him on how to save money and share some verses from the Bible about how God expects us to handle money, that begins the process of restoration for Jaime and also benefits me, because the entire process has allowed me to point Jaime to Christ, given God the glory and stabilized both of our Christian walks and our friendship in Christ.
Today, I would encourage you to seek out the Holy Spirit in prayer and ask Him if there is a place in your life where you need restoration vs relief. Write down the definitions of restoration and relief and make a short journal of some items that God is calling you to work on. All of us have emotional, financial, family, work-related and personal areas that we need to dig into and face head on and allow the King of Kings to restore, revive and repair. Let’s purpose to stop temporarily relieving ourselves of problems that keep creeping back up in our spirits and allow the Holy Spirit to help dig-up the roots of frustration, turmoil, guilt and the condemnation of heavy spirits that are keeping us in bondage and learn to give the past to the One who isn’t in that grave anymore! Jesus is moving. The World is awakened! If you’re a Christ follower, I pray that you will allow some healing and restoration to happen so that you can be the conduit for the saved or unsaved and lead them to the God who restores!
Pastor Craig gave a few short prayer examples (below) to meditate on. This is only a starting point, but through the power of the Holy Spirit, I pray that you will stop seeking relief and come to a place where you’re able to put the past where it belongs and move forward into a new season of Christ where no condemnation exists. He isn’t keeping a list of all of your sin. God wants all of us to be restored! Will you become like Peter and John and help someone in their time of need?
“God, help me give people what they truly need, not just what they want.
God, Help me to stay out of your way by not continually rescuing people from the consequences of their circumstances.
God, Help me remember that I am in need, too, and that you are always the answer.” Pastor Craig Groeschel