Happy Friday! In the midst of a pandemic and calls for social justice and equality God continues to prove that He is on the throne. For the past two weeks we have been reading Acts chapter 10, today we will begin chapter 11. In this devotion, verses 5-13 are mentioned, but not written out because it is a recap of chapter 10 – with a few more details. Always feel free to read the full context of the verses. Enjoy today’s devotion and your weekend.
“Soon the news reached the apostles and other believers[a] in Judea that the Gentiles had received the word of God. 2 But when Peter arrived back in Jerusalem, the Jewish believers[b] criticized him. 3 “You entered the home of Gentiles[c] and even ate with them!” they said.
4 Then Peter told them exactly what had happened…(verses 5-13). 14 He (Peter) will tell you how you and everyone in your household can be saved!’
15 “As I began to speak,” Peter continued, “the Holy Spirit fell on them, just as he fell on us at the beginning. 16 Then I thought of the Lord’s words when he said, ‘John baptized with[e] water, but you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit.’ 17 And since God gave these Gentiles the same gift he gave us when we believed in the Lord Jesus Christ, who was I to stand in God’s way?”
18 When the others heard this, they stopped objecting and began praising God. They said, “We can see that God has also given the Gentiles the privilege of repenting of their sins and receiving eternal life.”” – Acts 11:1-18 NLT
Peter was used by God to bring racial reconciliation to the community of believers. Peter heard from the Lord, responded to the call, and in spite of potential backlash from Jewish believers he stood firm in what God had called him to do. It wasn’t easy, because Peter had to explain his reasoning, but he did it because God’s authority and instructions are greater.
- Who was I to stand in God’s way? (v.17)
- When the others heard this, they stopped objecting and began praising God. (v.18)
- We can see that God has also given the Gentiles the privilege of repenting of their sins and receiving eternal life. (v.18)
Sisters and brother, God will reveal things to you/us that He won’t immediately reveal to others – follow God’s lead anyway. You may receive backlash for stepping out in faith or for doing what God called you to do – do it anyway. God may be using you to bring lasting change to a family, community or even the world – let Him use you.
The Greater Change
Peter’s obedience led to households being changed. It led to opinions about certain ethnic groups being changed. It also led to the continued growth of believers from all communities and backgrounds.
Questions to ponder:
- What has God been telling you to do, but it stands against things you have been taught or believe?
- Are you willing to take a stand for the things and people that concern God?
Lord God, thank you for including us all. Thank you for sending your son Jesus Christ to save us. Lord, our world and our country needs you. Lord, teach us to love ourselves and others as you love us. Lord, continue to tear down the racial barriers that hinder our progress in growing closer to you. Lord, heal the church, heal believers who have been hurt by the church or its members. Lord, you know the conversations and you know the distrust that has been bred out of anger, misunderstandings, and a failure to see thinga the way that you see them. Lord, we need a shift in the atmosphere. We need your Holy Spirit to overflow into the hearts of men, women, and children. Lord, pour it out and begin to heal our land. Lord, remove obstacles that prevent us from doing what you have called us to do. Lord, your word says that you are protector, the truth and the light, the One who sees, healer, and prince of peace. Therefore, Lord we ask that You protect the innocent, bring truth to light in our country, and give us vision to see you at work in our lives and the world. Heal those who are sick or battling addictions. Provide for those who are struggling financially. Bring peace to those who have anxiety or are suffering from depression. Lord, we believe who you say you are and we trust you will do what you said you will do. Our hope and faith are anchored in you. Have your way. In Jesus name we pray, amen!
Bible Study via Zoom begins next Wednesday, August 19, 2020 at 6pm. We will be studying Priscilla Shirer’s book on Gideon for seven (7) weeks. Order your study book today. More information to come.
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