What can a positive word do for you and me?

By Brian K. Brown, St. Mark M.B. Church

Scripture: Acts 3:1-10

The scripture centers around a man lame from birth who was carried daily to the gate of the temple called Beautiful to ask alms of those who entered.  Peter and John were on their way to the temple when they encountered him, and he asked alms of them.  Peter said to him silver and gold he didn’t have but such as he had he would give to him as he said to him ‘rise up and walk in the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth’.

From this text Pastor Brown began the message . . . No matter what we’ve gone through God has been faithful and we should be grateful.  God uses moments such as we are going through so that when we get out of them, we will be the bigger and better for the experience.  We’re in God’s workout room, where after the workout is done, we realize that though we might have struggled in the workout, we’re stronger because of what we’ve been through.

He suggested that our faith is being tested.  We’re being pushed to the brink of collapse but know that when we get out of this and God takes us further, we’ll be better and prepared to handle circumstances and situations that will confront use because our faith will be stronger.  It is faith that will win where we are today.  It is faith that will overcome difficulties; it is faith that will get us through.  We should use these workout sessions to work out our salvation, so this world will see that Christ lives and lives in us.

The text is a message that is close to where we are living.  All of us have sat at the Beautiful gate looking and expecting something.  We are weakened by continuing problem, leaders, fires, hurricanes and storms, economic difficulties, racial tension, the conduct of some in police positions.  We are in a challenging season of life.  We sit in the seat of the unnamed man lame from birth.  We too are lame in our lives with the various things that inhibit us.  We’re waiting for alms as the lame man waited and hoping for relief from all that confronts us.

The man says to us that it wasn’t necessarily the coins someone would give him that he was most looking for.  What he needed most was a positive word, “hang in there,” “it’s not going to bell that it’s been,” “it’s going to get better.”  We too need a positive word.

We, as a nation, didn’t think we’d be here.  After all, we’re Americans and we will take care of one another.  But Covid-19 has revealed the breakage that was under the surface that’s always been there, the lack of empathy, love, companionship, comfort, encouragement…We’ve recently reflected on the 19th anniversary of 911 and we remember that at that time we became a nation (for a little while) that realized that we were in a battle together, race and political parties didn’t matter we pulled together.

What has happened to us in those 19 years where now we’re facing issues and enemies that are robbing lives, families, and fellowship?  COVID-19 has affected every segment of our population but where are the cries that we are Americans and we can battle and beat this pandemic together.  We find ourselves as the masked and mask-less, the serious and those who think it’s a hoax.

Where are we?  We’re sitting at the gate hoping that something is said that is positive and impactful.  Money can’t fix everything.  It’s not the solution of all our problems.  Peter said he didn’t have money, but he had something that would impact the lame man’s day, a positive word.  We all have positive words we can share that will make someone’s day better.

What can a positive word do for you and me?  It can us walk away from weakness (verses 7 and 8); will help you walk with worshippers (verse 8) and it will help you walk into worship or walk worshipping (verse 8).  The man had sat lame at the temple gate Beautiful for many years and had never entered into the temple but upon receiving the positive word from Peter, he joined Peter and John and went into the temple.

The question is:  Where could we be with a positive word?

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Brian K. Brown is the senior pastor of St. Mark Missionary Baptist Church, 1301 37th St S, St. Petersburg, FL 33711.

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