The Lame Game
Now Peter and John went up together to the temple at the hour of prayer, the ninth hour. 2 And a certain man lame from his mother’s womb was carried, whom they laid daily at the gate of the temple which is called Beautiful, to ask alms from those who entered the temple; 3 who, seeing Peter and John about to go into the temple, asked for alms. 4 And fixing his eyes on him, with John, Peter said, “Look at us.” 5 So he gave them his attention, expecting to receive something from them. 6 Then Peter said, “Silver and gold I do not have, but what I do have I give you: In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, rise up and walk.” Acts 3:1-6 NKJV
There are six ways to get money: (1) you can earn it; (2) it can be given to you; (3) you can borrow it; (4) find it; (5) you can steal it; and, (6) or, you can beg for money. A beggar will always look to man, but a believer will trust God and stand on His promise (Phil. 4:19). Spiritually speaking, like the lame man in our text, beggars are lame. Why? They can’t or won’t stand on their own faith to receive their needs met. Too many of them find it easier to rely on the charity and sympathy of others. This is a page out of the playbook of the “lame game.”.
Peter and John were not just believers, but they were also men of prayer. People of prayer keep God in the center and look to Him as their Source. There is a direct connection between prayer and prosperity, i.e., security, success, abundance and peace (see Psalm 122:6-7). The lame beggar had no sense of prosperity—that’s why he is begging. Begging is asking with intensity to receive alms.
Peter and John went up together to the temple to pray, but notice where the lame man was set daily: outside of the Gate of the Temple. He’s not thinking about prayer; he’s only thinking about begging. Where do you find beggars? Beggars are found outside the Temple no matter how close they are. Where do you find the people who can help the beggars? They are going into the Temple. The blessing is inside of the Temple, not outside of the Temple.
A “lame” beggar is someone looking to someone else expecting to receive from them. If you’re living outside of the Temple, you can be even be financially well-off and still be a beggar. If you’re looking to anyone other than God to receive anything, you’re a playing the “lame game” (Psalm 37:23, 25-26).