This is the final post of the Fulfillment in Jesus series. I do hope this series has encouraged you in some way. Just in case you haven't read the first ones, here they are: The Empty Places, Desire and Delight, A Secret.
When you hear people talk about being content and satisfied and fulfilled in Jesus, do you ever wonder how that's possible when there is so much lack in the world? When there are children starving and daddies abandoning their families and no one saying they love you?
There is a lot of lack in the world. And it is easy to focus on and become overwhelmed by this lack.
But there is always Jesus. In the previous posts, we have learned that satisfaction in Jesus can be a reality in our lives, and we have learned how to live in this reality. And when we do live in this reality, beautiful things happen...
Peter and John chose to live satisfied in Jesus. They could have focused on the fact that they didn't have money or the “security” financial prosperity brings; the not having to worry about making ends meet, the not having to live paycheck to paycheck. They could have been overwhelmed by the fact that this man couldn't walk and had to beg for money in order to live.
But they chose to focus on what they did have: Jesus.
Being content, satisfied and fulfilled in Jesus is choosing to live in Him, trusting He will provide. We focus on Jesus, and let Him fill us, and from that we can impact and help those around us.
Peter didn't say, “I don't have silver or gold, so sorry buddy, you're just out of luck.” He was living in the reality that Jesus had risen from the dead, that the same Spirit who raised Christ was now in Peter. He didn't have silver or gold to give, but what he did give was much, much better. In fact, it was the best.
Peter gave out of his relationship with Jesus, and something beautiful did happen. This man, who had been a cripple from birth, who was begging, the lowest of people, got up and walked! Think about how this would change his life! He had just experienced the power of God!
What do you have that you could give? Can you babysit for the couple who needs a night out? Can you bring a meal to the person who is sick? Can you give a word of advice, a shoulder to cry on, a listening hear, a helping hand?
Mother Teresa once said, “If you can't feed a hundred people, then just feed one.”
Don't become so overwhelmed by the lack, but what you can't do, that you end up doing nothing. As Jesus reveals needs of others to you, do what you can. Help that one person Jesus brings across your path... and then the next person... and then the next... and before you know it, you'll end up feeding a hundred people.
As you give out of your relationship with Jesus, you may not see a crippled person get up and walk, but you will see people experiencing the power, love, peace, wisdom, hope, joy (I could go on) of God. And perhaps through that, they will fall more in love with Jesus.
Because of the amazing miracle that took place when the no-longer-crippled-man began to walk and praise God, Peter and John had the opportunity to speak to the onlooking people about Jesus. The religious leaders, who denied Jesus as God's Son, did not like this. They had Peter and John brought before them for some questioning. After the questioning was over, here is what happened:
I am thankful the writer of Acts included telling us that Peter and John were “unschooled” and “ordinary”, because so often, I can feel this way myself; lacking in skills, ability, personality, beauty.
But once again, the focus in this passage is not on the lack. The real focus is on what Peter and John did have: Jesus.
The religious leaders saw Peter and John's courage, and “they took note that these men had been with Jesus” Even when standing before these religious leaders, their fate unknown, Peter and John gave out of what they did have. They spoke truth in the face of threats and refused to stop letting Jesus overflow from them. And because of this, it was noticed that they had been with Jesus.
People will take note of how we who follow Jesus live. When they see your life, is there evidence you have been with Jesus? Are you giving out of your fulfillment found in Him?
As this series comes to a close, I encourage you to be with Jesus. Be in His word, spend time with Him in prayer, live in the reality of your relationship with Him and be a part of making beautiful things happen.