What I Do Have I Give To You
Reference: Acts 3:1-10
[Act 3:6 ESV] 6 But Peter said, “I have no silver and gold, but what I do have I give to you. In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, rise up and walk!”
Have you ever heard Acts 3:6 used to promote the idea that the apostles were poor or broke? To support the opinion that God is not interested in you being financially blessed? It is inevitable that this scripture will be used in a conversation to distort God’s will for the believer when it comes to money. It is an erroneous belief system propagated by the gates of hell. As my friend Carl would say, “If poverty is such a blessing, why isn’t anyone running after it? Not even those who preach against prosperity”. I don’t intend to stir up a debate on “prosperity gospel” versus “vow to poverty gospel”. Rather, I want to calibrate our attention to the truth that Peter knew and demonstrated.
In order to receive the blessing that God wants to give, He will have to redirect our focus.
[Acts 3:1-5 ESV] Now Peter and John were going up to the temple at the hour of prayer, the ninth hour.[a] 2 And a man lame from birth was being carried, whom they laid daily at the gate of the temple that is called the Beautiful Gate to ask alms of those entering the temple. 3 Seeing Peter and John about to go into the temple, he asked to receive alms. 4 And Peter directed his gaze at him, as did John, and said, “Look at us.” 5 And he fixed his attention on them, expecting to receive something from them.
The lame man was positioned near the right place, but his condition kept him from the benefit of entering in. His condition affected his focus and could have caused him to miss the divine opportunity that was approaching him. In one area or many, we can be identified with the lame beggar. We are sitting outside of the temple of God’s provision and looking for a hand out instead of a hand up. Interesting enough the Gate Beautiful, in the greek, hōraios, means “blooming, beautiful (used of the human body). How ironic that daily he was seated at the gate but received no revelation to transformation of where he laid. And worse, is that he was assisted to remain in that condition (v.2). This lame man’s story is recorded for our benefit, so that we can acknowledge our condition concerning the Word of God as it pertains to the kingdom of God and redirect our focus. As you read this, there is an invitation to come up higher into knowledge of Jesus Christ, God’s Anointed.
[Acts 3:4-6 ESV] 4 And Peter directed his gaze at him, as did John, and said, “Look at us.” 5 And he fixed his attention on them, expecting to receive something from them. 6 But Peter said, “I have no silver and gold, but what I do have I give to you. In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, rise up and walk!”
Here lies a glorious truth that God would have believers come to know and demonstrate. The right focus is not on the lame man now. It is not even on Peter and John. And it is definitely not on “empty pockets”.
The misinterpretation of “I have no silver and gold” has stumbled more than can be imagined. The devil has been good at disguising the lie, but it has been long-past due for light to come to those who still sit in darkness.
Example: Have you ever needed change for a $20 bill and turned to someone you know who makes more than enough, and that person didn’t have it? Have you ever gone to the store and at the cashier, realized that you forgot your wallet or bank card, and didn’t have the money on hand to purchase what you wanted to buy?
So, just because Peter didn’t have silver and gold on him at the time, did it mean he lived in lack or poverty? Peter that traveled to different regions to minister the Gospel. The same Peter who was told by Jesus to cast a hook in the sea for one fish to pay taxes (Matthew 17:24-27).
[Matthew 17:27 NASB] 27 “However, so that we do not offend them, go to the sea and throw in a hook, and take the first fish that comes up; and when you open its mouth, you will find a shekel. Take that and give it to them for you and Me.”
As a pastor friend of mine would say, “Certainly not”!
So what is the right focus? It is the focus that Peter had. He focused on what he had (by God’s revelation and impartation) and not on what he didn’t have (according to carnal understanding and temporal circumstances). When we are able to focus rightly, we are able to give according to the measure in which we have received.
[Matthew 10:7-8 NIV] 7 As you go, proclaim this message: ‘The kingdom of heaven has come near.’ 8 Heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse those who have leprosy, drive out demons. Freely you have received; freely give.
THE RESULT OF RIGHT FOCUS
Again, so no one gets it twisted, the focus is not on the money or lack thereof. The focus is on the kingdom of heaven that Peter possessed and was able to give. How do we know this to be true?
[Act 3:7-11 NIV] 7 Taking him by the right hand, he helped him up, and instantly the man’s feet and ankles became strong. 8 He jumped to his feet and began to walk. Then he went with them into the temple courts, walking and jumping, and praising God. 9 When all the people saw him walking and praising God, 10 they recognized him as the same man who used to sit begging at the temple gate called Beautiful, and they were filled with wonder and amazement at what had happened to him. 11 While the man held on to Peter and John, all the people were astonished and came running to them in the place called Solomon’s Colonnade.
Here are characteristics of Holy Ghost anointed right-focus:
- Healing and Deliverance (v.7)
- Demonstration for Confirmation (v.8)
- Praise and Glory to God (v.8)
- Testimony: Revelation to Invitation of Right-Focus (v.9-11)
OPEN DOOR TO PREACHING THE GOSPEL
Ultimately, right-focus on what you have to give, opens doors to share the Gospel (Acts 3:2-26). This is why the devil tirelessly works at keeping Christians focused on what they don’t have. The truth is that we have been blessed with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places (2 Corinthians 1:1-14). God has lavished upon us every kind of wisdom and understanding to make know to us the mystery of His will (2 Corinthians 1:8-9 AMP). Here is more truth that deserves attention.
[John 1:4,5] 4 In him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind. 5 The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.
[Matthew 5:16] 16 Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.
Therefore, give what you have.