SCRIPTURE FROM: Acts 11:17 (TLB)
TEXT: 17.… since it was God who gave these Gentiles the same gift he gave us when we believed on the Lord Jesus Christ, who was I to argue?”
OBSERVATION: Peter returned after celebrating the saving of souls – ones that the Jews thought were beyond God’s reach, for they were Gentiles. Ordinarily you would think that it would be party time as Peter returned with such great news, but instead his friends hit him immediately with all of the negative they could imagine from what they heard. I love how Peter responded, for he explained what the Holy Spirit did; and he declared that whatever happened was so real and so clear, that it was evident that it was more than anything he could ever do, or argue with.
APPLICATION: In reading this whole event that Peter was involved in, I believe that our first impression is to probably lash out on the disciples for searching for something negative, rather than having a celebration time planned for Peter’s return. In fact, it sounds like a huge praise service would have been a good way of saying ‘thank you’ to God for using their Brother to minister to the Gentiles, a group that the Jews thought God would reject, just like they did. But before we get too critical of the disciples, let’s reflect on our natural instincts today. I am a part of a program going on in our county right now called ‘Pursuit 21’. This is a 21-day season of prayer by several local churches, where people from our county are invited to gather at a designated place – 1 of about 12 locations strategically chosen around the county, and pray alongside other believers for the spiritual condition, and needs of our county. In most cases, the church that we attend never comes up, for we are Brothers and Sisters who serve the same Master, praying for the concerns of each other and our communities. What a glorious time as we reflect on how this might imitate what we will do in heaven! Let us always remember that exclusivity is something that we induce, when it comes to believers in Christ. At the foot of the cross, we are all the same in the eyes of Jesus – from the holiest and best pastor or priest who ever served the Lord, to the newest Christian who surrendered their lives to Jesus. And when we see God at work, let’s try hard to recognize, thank God for, and celebrate the work of the Holy Spirit, and stop picking everything apart that we see in whomever may have communicated with God through prayer for our miracle. Let’s not shroud the blessings of the Almighty with the human frailties of those touched by God in any miracle He sees fit to extend. If I am healed by God, and a friend who never shared their spiritual condition with me, tells me that they had prayed for that healing, my heart should always be fixed on praising God for His miraculous touch, and never complain or gripe about who He may have received the request from. To God be the glory, for all that He chooses to do for His children!
PRAYER: Lord Jesus, please forgive us for our littleness in always trying to prove our worth, instead of looking for, and celebrating Your unlimited worth, and for all that You choose to bless us with. I love the song that includes these words: I have a Father, He calls me His own, He’ll never leave me, No matter where I go. He knows my name….. These words remind me that You are my personal Savior, and no matter how many may call on Your name today, You will never leave me helpless. Please help me to praise You when I see this same miracle happening in the lives of others also, for I am reminded that all of Your children are special in Your eyes. Thank You for all who witness, teach and preach about Your never ending love for all who believe on the name of Jesus Christ. To You be all glory, honor and praise, precious Jesus. AMEN!
FOOTNOTE: There are two more pages on my blog that will provide you with additional information, one of them being ‘To Know Jesus’. If you have been challenged to make a decision today after reading this devotional, please click on the above page, or speak with a local Bible Teaching Pastor, or contact me at NuggetsFromGodsWord@outlook.com. Please allow someone to pray with you and give you help and/or encouragement as you begin, or continue your walk with Jesus. Words underlined in my blog could indicate a link to a song that came to mind as I wrote the devotional. Feel free to click on the link and listen as you continue to read or pray. If this devotional was forwarded to you and you would like to see more, please go to Nuggets From God’s Word and read more, or you may freely to subscribe for a daily email conveniently containing each day’s devotional. If you are anywhere near the Sebring, Florida area and do not have a church home, I would be thrilled to welcome you at Bible Fellowship Church, located at 3750 Hammock Rd, Sebring, FL 33872! Click the link to check out service times and/or other special activities. God is at work among us! Please consider coming to worship with us!