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So, what sets sustainable transformation in motion? Imagine this scenario.

Peter and John are walking toward the temple for a time of prayer and worship. While approaching the temple on a busy street filled with people flurrying about, they encounter a man they have likely passed numerous times. The man is sitting in ragged clothing, frequently crying out at passersby who are distracted by their busy thoughts and busy lives.

We learn from Scripture this beggar is in his 40’s, and he has been lame since birth. Every day his friends carry him to a location near the temple where worshipers bustled. This man’s livelihood depends on the generosity of others. It is possible the man recognizes Peter and John as Christ-followers. The odds are high he would have learned by this point that Christ-followers were a generous bunch, eager to share their resources with those in need. Giving generously to the poor was a high value for Jesus as it was for Judaism, which places the giving of “tzedakah” or charity as a significant obligation upon every Jew. (1) This word, which also means justice, includes financial giving that requires compassion and empathy. (2)

The man asks Peter and John for a gift, but the men’s pockets are empty. However, they have something else in mind. Peter takes hold of the man’s right hand and says, “ Silver or gold I do not have, but what I do have I give you. In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, walk.” (3) For the first time in his life, the man stands on his own two feet. His weak, deformed legs were miraculously healed. Not only can the man walk, but, remarkably, he gains equilibrium, coordination and motor skills which should have taken months if not years to fully develop. (4)

While jumping and praising God, the man walks to the temple with Peter and John for a time of prayer. Ironically, the man is healed in time to participate and stand during what is known as “the Standing Prayer” which is a specific prayer that accompanies the sacrifices. (5) After the afternoon sacrifices, Peter and John start teaching a crowd which is now amazed at the sight of the familiar beggar who, once lame, is now standing, jumping and praising God. The man is no longer disabled but fully restored. We can assume this man is well on his way to becoming a Christ-follower if he is not already at this point. The man will later be called “whole” by Peter when addressing Annas the high priest, along with members of the Sanhedrin the following day. Peter will attribute the man’s new condition to tzedakah, or the result of an “act of kindness” and this new “wholeness” means to be healthy, perfect soundness, completeness, and intactness. (6) We might say, “Things are as they should be” for the man.

The story continues, but we can pause and notice several relational skills at work. Peter and John graciously offered to share their joy using what is known as Skill 5, Three-way Bonds. This means they approached the man with confidence and security that there is enough good stuff to go around. Skill 3, Two-way Bonds, involves relationships with two people that instill a foundation of safety while Three-way Bonds says, “Come in! There is enough to be shared. You are now part of my tribe and my people. What I have I share with you.” This security is expressed as a welcome mat that invites people into the family for fellowship. Skill 5 develops when Skill 3 is set in place. This transition leads to community fellowship opposed to insecurity and isolation.

Next, we have Skill 13, which refers to seeing some of what God sees. We know this skill as Godsight, Heartsight or iSight, as my friends in Joyful Journey call it. (7) With Skill 13 we not only see some of what God sees, we actively participate in what God is doing. Peter and John were seeing and hearing with their eyes and ears in the Spirit. (8) Simply, Peter and John were actively engaged in what God was doing at that moment. Skill 13 leads to Skill 14, the reduction of the sark or flesh in our lives, what we know as “Mysight.” (9) Here is where we begin to lessen the influence of the sark (flesh) over our decisions.

When Skill 3 and Skill 5 are working correctly, we give generously and live with greater courage and confidence. We have no reason to fear “the terror by night, or the arrow that flies by day” because of this secure foundation established on the bedrock of joy with the assurance that we are not alone. (10) Do you live with the confidence there is enough good stuff to go around? What areas of your life can you see God at work? Do you have people or situations where you need a clearer lens to see better what God sees? May we be like Peter and John, who, after receiving good things from Jesus, became a bubbling spring of goodness to those God brought across their path.


1 – Miracle in the Temple from Chronicles of the Apostles, Torah Club Book 1, FFOZ.

2 – The writings of Maimonides, Rabbi Moses be Maimon, 1135-1204.

3 – Acts 3:6, NIV

4 – Miracle in the Temple from Chronicles of the Apostles, Torah Club Book 1, FFOZ.

5 – The Amidah, known as the Eighteen Benedictions, this prayer time consisted of 24 “standing men” who represented the districts of the land. These men, along with the people, stood to recite a prayer while the priesthood offered the continual burnt offering. Torah Club Book 1, FFOZ.

6 – In Acts 4:10 the word is NT:5199 Hugies, while Acts 4:9 is NT:4982 Sozo, which means to make whole, save, deliver or protect.

7 – Joyful Journey: Listening to Immanuel by Kang, Loppnow, Loppnow and Wilder, LMW, 2015.

8 – Learn more about the heart with Living From The Heart Jesus Gave You by Wilder, et. al.

9 – Learn more about this in the soon-to-be-released Brain Skills In The Bible by Amy Brown and Chris Coursey. Mysight is the opposite of Godsight, Heartsight, and iSight.

10 – This is a Psalm 91:5 reference. Learn more about secure attachments with Skill 17 in Transforming Fellowship by Chris Coursey.


Posted in Skill Thoughts

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1 Comment

  1. Harry Wuthrich

    Awesome facilitation of an amazing narrative, fellow teacher. It is so exciting when the Great Teacher illuminates His Word (actually Himself) to facilitate learning for us which in turn sets into motion the beginning of the amazing experience of TRANSFORMATION opening the door to invite TRANSITION to work in our hearts.

    Thank you for your endless little morsels of Godsight

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