Happy Wednesday! Sometimes disputes have good endings. Sometimes tough questions and hard conversations are necessary for each person involved and those around them. It benefits by moving some thoughts and actions from deep rooted beliefs to truth and reconciliation the way that God sees it. Join me today as we see the church address the dispute in Acts 15, and believers continuing to believe. Have a wonderful day.
Bible Verse – Acts 15:22-35 NLT
“22 Then the apostles and elders together with the whole church in Jerusalem chose delegates, and they sent them to Antioch of Syria with Paul and Barnabas to report on this decision. The men chosen were two of the church leaders[f]—Judas (also called Barsabbas) and Silas. 23 This is the letter they took with them:
“This letter is from the apostles and elders, your brothers in Jerusalem. It is written to the Gentile believers in Antioch, Syria, and Cilicia. Greetings!
24 “We understand that some men from here have troubled you and upset you with their teaching, but we did not send them! 25 So we decided, having come to complete agreement, to send you official representatives, along with our beloved Barnabas and Paul, 26 who have risked their lives for the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. 27 We are sending Judas and Silas to confirm what we have decided concerning your question.
28 “For it seemed good to the Holy Spirit and to us to lay no greater burden on you than these few requirements: 29 You must abstain from eating food offered to idols, from consuming blood or the meat of strangled animals, and from sexual immorality. If you do this, you will do well. Farewell.”
30 The messengers went at once to Antioch, where they called a general meeting of the believers and delivered the letter. 31 And there was great joy throughout the church that day as they read this encouraging message.
32 Then Judas and Silas, both being prophets, spoke at length to the believers, encouraging and strengthening their faith. 33 They stayed for a while, and then the believers sent them back to the church in Jerusalem with a blessing of peace.[g]35 Paul and Barnabas stayed in Antioch. They and many others taught and preached the word of the Lord there.”
• Leaders in the church must set aside personal feelings and read the word of God, lead from the word of God, instruct from the word of God, accept people as the word of God instructs, and love from the word God.
• God always has the first and last word – He is the Alpha and Omega. He will continue to build His church.
The church sustained on the word of God and by the leading of the Holy Spirit. Where this dispute could have provided a great deal of division within the church, this matter was led well and is an example for churches today. As believers and leaders in churches, in our homes, in our communities, etc., we need to continue to encourage one another and strengthening each other in faith.
Let’s start today and this week to encourage one another, strengthen one another, love one another, grieve with one another, and be a Christ like example wherever we go.Sisters and brothers, the enemy is prowling and we need to keep praying, and stand in the full armor of God against the schemes of the evil one. Suit up (Ephesians 6:10-18)!
Father God, we need you. Lord, our church, nation, and world needs you. Lord, we are so busy reading everyone’s opinion(s) on matters and if we are truthful – we have often left the word of God, the teachings of Jesus, and the Holy Spirit out. Lord God, forgive us. Forgive us for not checking in with you or for not following through on what you have called us to do. Lord, we surrender our disappointments, anger, grief, and doubt to you. Lord, cover us with your hand and shield 🛡 us with Your armor. Lord, equip us and teach us Your perfect way – how to use the spiritual gifts and equipment that you have given us to use. Lead us as we seek to do what is right in Your eyes, as we seek justice as You have called us to do, as we love mercy, and walk humbly with You ♥. Lord, we want to be Your instruments – send us. In Jesus name, we pray amen.
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