Good morning! Have you ever tried to make someone happy? Were you successful? Sometimes when we try to make people happy we are successful initially, but then we need to keep up the routine adding one more thing after another thing. Thank God, we never hear the words from God that we are not enough or we will never meet the mark or be accepted. By the grace of God we are accepted, enough and loved. Join me today as we continue in Acts chapter fifteen.
“4 When they arrived in Jerusalem, Barnabas and Paul were welcomed by the whole church, including the apostles and elders. They reported everything God had done through them. 5 But then some of the believers who belonged to the sect of the Pharisees stood up and insisted, “The Gentile converts must be circumcised and required to follow the law of Moses.”
6 So the apostles and elders met together to resolve this issue. 7 At the meeting, after a long discussion, Peter stood and addressed them as follows: “Brothers, you all know that God chose me from among you some time ago to preach to the Gentiles so that they could hear the Good News and believe. 8 God knows people’s hearts, and he confirmed that he accepts Gentiles by giving them the Holy Spirit, just as he did to us. 9 He made no distinction between us and them, for he cleansed their hearts through faith. 10 So why are you now challenging God by burdening the Gentile believers[b] with a yoke that neither we nor our ancestors were able to bear? 11 We believe that we are all saved the same way, by the undeserved grace of the Lord Jesus.”” – Acts 15:4-11 NLT
- Paul and Barnabas were greeted by the whole church, including the apostles and elders.
- A sect of the Pharisees who were converted believers insisted that the Gentile converts be circumcised and follow the law of Moses.
- Peter confirmed God accepts the Gentiles and additional burdens such as circumcision should not be placed on the Gentiles.
- God gave the Gentiles the Holy Spirit and cleansed their hearts by faith.
- We are all saved by grace.
While I can only imagine being in the room during this discussion, I am grateful of the outcome which speaks to God’s plan when He sent Jesus Christ as the ultimate sacrifice for our sins, who died, and rose again on the third day fulfilling the Old Testament prophecies, and making a way for us all to be saved. There is neither Greek, Jew or Gentile (Black, white, Asian, Native American, Middle Eastern, Hispanic, Latin, etc.) we are all one in Christ Jesus.
Sisters and brothers, we may be from different races and backgrounds, but what I find reassuring is that Christ Jesus came for us all – no one is greater or lesser in their ability to receive Christ Jesus as their Lord and Savior. No one else knows our hearts like God knows it. God made no distinction between us, them, or anyone else, for he cleanses the hearts of believers through faith.
Romans 10:9-13 says, “If you openly declare that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. 10 For it is by believing in your heart that you are made right with God, and it is by openly declaring your faith that you are saved. 11 As the Scriptures tell us, “Anyone who trusts in him will never be disgraced.” 12 Jew and Gentile are the same in this respect. They have the same Lord, who gives generously to all who call on him. 13 For “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.”
Sisters and brothers, do you believe?
- If your answer is yes, call on His name and let’s continue to move forward in the grace, knowledge, and love of the Lord – sharing the Good News and living out the word in the world.
- If your answer is no, then I want to challenge you to pray to God and ask Him to make himself known in your life.
Father God we thank you for sending your son Jesus to be the ultimate sacrifice for our sins. Lord, we don’t deserve your grace or mercy, but you continue to give it anyway. Lord, forgive us of our sins (known and unknown). Lead us in a way that will help us see you at work in the chaos and in the silence of our day. Lord, help us to love like you love and to accept all races and ethnicities as you have. Lord, who are we to judge anyone – you know us and our heart. We are grateful that you have not put the full weight of our judgments against us. Lord, yet give us wisdom and discern to know good from evil, right from wrong, truth from lies, and love from hatred. Lord, in all those things led us to do good, what is right, to seek justice, to love mercy, and walk humbly with you ❤. Lord, we want to be a true reflection of you in this world. Use us. Thank you! You are worthy of all praise and glory. In Jesus, name amen.
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