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     A man lame from birth was being carried, whom they laid daily at the gate of the temple that is called the Beautiful Gate to ask alms of those entering the temple. Seeing Peter and John about to go into the temple, he asked to receive alms. And Peter directed his gaze at him, as did John, and said, “Look at us.” And he fixed his attention on them, expecting to receive something from them. But Peter said, “I have no silver and gold, but what I do have I give to you. In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, rise up and walk!” And he took him by the right hand and raised him up, and immediately his feet and ankles were made strong. And leaping up he stood and began to walk, and entered the temple with them, walking and leaping and praising God.” Acts 3:2-8

     Dear heavenly Father, I don’t know of any special meaning or rituals for Leap Day, February 29th—this every-four-years extra 24 hours written into our calendars. But when I woke up this morning, this wonderful story of mercy, grace and healing came to mind. It gives me a chance to say of this somewhat unique morning, like every morning, “This is the day the LORD has made, let us rejoice and be glad in it!” (Psalm 118:24)

Father, I relate to both to the lame man and to the apostle Peter. I’ve been spiritually lame from birth—completely crippled—not merely walking with a cane and a limp, but immobile and helpless, with zero resources to change my condition. Silver and gold, self-help and self-righteousness, religion and non-religion, a pantheon of idols and a plethora of attempts couldn’t alter my condition one bit.

At that time “I was foolish, disobedient, deceived and enslaved by all kinds of passions and pleasures. I lived in malice and envy, being hated by and hating others. But, Father, when your kindness and love appeared, you saved me, not because of righteous things I had done, but because of your mercy. You saved me through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit, whom you poured out on me generously through Jesus Christ our Savior, so that, having been justified by his grace, I might become an heir having the hope of eternal life.”(A prayer personalization of Titus 3:3-7)

That’s when walking and leaping and praising you became a reality, Father, and it’s all of your doing. You gave Jesus for me, not just for me, but truly for me. He wasn’t merely crippled for me; he was in the crypt for me so that life could come to my whole being, not just to my ankles and feet. I needed a new heart, not just a new start. I didn’t need a second chance but the second Adam. Indeed, I was dead in my sin and trespasses until you raised me to newness of life in Jesus. There is no god like you, Father… no god, none.

I rise to my feet today, on this Lenten Leap Day and shout multiplied hallelujahs! I praise you for your sovereign grace. I bless you for the power of the gospel. I adore you for the measureless mercies of your heart, the unsearchable riches of your grace, and the limitless expressions of your love!

As you have given life to me through the gospel, so speak life through me to others. Let the gospel run in me and through me. May your grace be magnified and multiplied in me, overflowing to others… all kinds of others, Father. So very Amen I pray, with fresh dancing gratitude, in Jesus’ name.

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Scotty Smith

Scotty Smith is the founding pastor of Christ Community Church in Franklin, Tennessee. You can follow him on Twitter.

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