Acts 11:1-18; Joshua 11-12; Job 26
There was tension when Peter came back to Jerusalem. Peter, excited about what God had done ran into the believers who didn’t understand that God’s plan in salvation was to open the pathways to all. They began by attacking Peter. Peter responded with the truth of what God had done. He recounted how God had treated these Gentiles the same way that He had treated the Jews who came to Christ. “And when Peter came up to Jerusalem, those of the circumcision contended with him,saying, ‘You went in to uncircumcised men and ate with them!’… When they heard these things they became silent; and they glorified God, saying, ‘Then God has also granted to the Gentiles repentance to life.’” (Acts 11:2-3,18) It’s ironic that the early Christians had to work hard to overcome this idea that a relationship with the one true God was available exclusively to them. Prior to the coming of Jesus, that was true. Now, however, Jesus changed things. He went to people who weren’t Jews and healed them. He accepted the Gentiles who had been in conflict with the Jews. After His crucifixion and resurrection it didn’t happen again until Peter met with Cornelius. Now, however, God revealed that the Gospel was a life-changing message for all people: from beloved Jew to hated Roman soldier. If that’s true, there are no boundaries in God’s Kingdom. Anyone who fears God and repents is able to experience new life in Christ. That message holds true to us today. And if that message is true, that should change how we treat people – especially those who treat us badly. Let’s show God’s love to all men that some who would never have done so otherwise, might experience His grace.
Lord, steal my show. When my natural reactions to being treated rudely or wrongly would respond in kind, take control and help me show those people Your grace. Let me always show others Your mercy and love no matter who they might treat me.