Acts 10:34-48; Joshua 9-10; Job 25
There is a bit of cultural arrogance in every culture. “The way we do it is best,” is at least thought by just about everyone at one time or another. It really gets bad when our cultural arrogance moves to a spiritual arrogance that gives the impression that God loves us more because our culture is better. Peter got a great shock when he showed up at the house of Cornelius, a Roman Centurion. Cornelius wasn’t a Jew, but God apparently still loved him! “Then Peter began to speak: ‘I now realize how true it is that God does not show favoritism but accepts men from every nation who fear him and do what is right.’” (Acts 10:34-35) The Jews did have a special relationship with God. Many, though, depended on that relationship rather than on developing their own relationship with God. They even fought against the Messiah, Jesus, when He appeared. Sometimes as we travel our country and our world our arrogance begins showing. We think that we have an exclusive relationship with God that is there because we are Americans. We would never preach a gospel of prosperity but we would live as if our prosperity was an indicator of our faithfulness. When we truly begin to listen to followers of Christ who have a different cultural background here in our own country and in other countries across the world we learn that God doesn’t respect a specific culture. Some of the most financially impoverished are spiritually wealthy. And, if we are honest, some of the most financially wealthy are the most spiritually impoverished. God neither seeks nor protects our financial status. God seeks our hearts. Do we fear God? Do we do what is right in God’s eyes? Those are the criteria that God has when He judges faithfulness.
O Lord, help me never to depend on my financial status or my status as an American when I seek You. Let me come humbly to You as a sinner, brought into a relationship with You by grace. Remind me that all of those who come to You do so by way of the cross. Help me to learn and grow from each and every person You place in my path.