Friday, November 5, 1999

All I Have to Give is Christ

Then Peter said, "Silver or gold I do not have, but what I have I give you. In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, walk." (Acts 3:6)

The apostle Peter has an interesting resume:

1) Disciple of Christ: Gave up livelihood as a fisherman to follow some stranger who said he will make him a "fisher of men." (Matthew 4:18-20)

2) Doubter of Christ: Nearly drowned after losing faith in the same man he sacrificed everything to follow. (Matthew 14:28-31)

3) Believer in Christ: Boldly professed his belief in the man he sacrificed everything to follow but occasionally doubted in times of trouble; "You are the Christ, the Son of the living God." (Matthew 16:16)

4) Rock of Christ: Man he boldly professed his faith in tells him: "You are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not overcome it." (Matthew 16:18)

5) Obstacle of Christ: Man he sacrificed everything to follow tells him: "Get behind me, Satan! You are a stumbling block to me; you do not have in mind the things of God, but the things of men." (Matthew 16:23)

6) Disappointer of Christ: Failed to keep awake during the hour the man he sacrificed everything to follow needed him most; "Could you men not keep watch with me for one hour? Watch and pray that you will not fall into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the body is weak." (Matthew 26:40-41)

7) Rejecter of Christ: Rejected man he had previously boldly professed his faith in: "You also were with Jesus of Galilee, she said. But he denied it before them all. I don't know what you're talking about." (Matthew 26:69-70)

8) Defender of Christ: Vigorously defends man he previously rejected: "It is by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom you crucified but whom God raised from the dead, that this man stands before you healed. He is the stone you builders rejected, which has become the capstone." (Acts 4:10-11)

9) Persecuted for Christ: Jailed for defending man he previously rejected, disappointed, and obstructed: "It was about this time that King Herod arrested some who belonged to the church, intending to persecute them. He had James, the brother of John, put to death with the sword. When he saw that this pleased the Jews, he proceeded to seize Peter also." (Acts 12:1-3)

10) Healer in Christ: Then Peter said, "Silver or gold I do not have, but what I have I give you. In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, walk." (Acts 3:6)

From obstacle to rock, rejecter to defender, and doubter to believer, Peter came a long way in his relationship with Christ. His walk with the Lord is an encouragement to me, for there have been times in my life when I have strongly believed, defended, and been persecuted for Christ and others when I have doubted, rejected, and been an obstacle of Christ. But like Peter, I hope that as my faith and walk with the Lord strengthens, I'll learn the same lesson that Peter learned: "All I have to give is Christ." There's no greater gift I could ever give.