Bible Reference: Acts 15:8-11
Translation: Easy-to-Read Version (ERV)
Bible Text: 8 God knows everyone, even their thoughts, and he accepted these non-Jewish people. He showed this to us by giving them the Holy Spirit the same as he did to us. 9 To God, those people are not different from us. When they believed, God made their hearts pure. 10 So now, why are you putting a heavy burden[a] around the necks of the non-Jewish followers of Jesus? Are you trying to make God angry? We and our fathers were not able to carry that burden. 11 No, we believe that we and these people will be saved the same way—by the grace of the Lord Jesus.”
OBSERVATION: Paul and Barnabas dealt with a divided people because of their heritage – Jew or Gentile. Unfortunately today we permit many things to separate us – even those who call themselves ‘Believers’. My Bible tells me that there is only one God, one cross and one heaven. Our Scripture tells us that Jews and Gentiles had a tough time getting along. Today there are many things that divide us here on earth. As we meditate, let’s be reminded that Paul and Barnabas said in verse 11 something that still applies to us today ‘we will all be saved the same way – by the grace of Jesus!
APPLICATION: If we ever expect to see the world, and in particular our own world of influence, saved from their sin and see them surrender to the lordship of Jesus Christ, then Christians MUST know the answer to this question: ‘What must I do to be saved?’ It’s not the preacher, nor the pastor or not even another spiritual leader that will save them, it’s their recognition of their sin and their invitation to invite Jesus to be their Lord. This may result from intimate friends that they trust, who will plant the seed of faith in them and cause them to turn their eyes and inquiring minds towards Jesus. It is God’s Holy Spirit working through each of us that will impact our unsaved loved ones! However, I believe that this passage comes as a warning to each of us today, for we must be extremely careful not to try and impose upon these ones we are witnessing to, any non-biblical values, or additional conditions, that we may hold as ‘good moral practices’. Our Scripture teaches that it is ‘GRACE’ alone that will save mankind. That’s the unmerited favor of Jesus Christ. So be careful not to complicate what God has made simple for us. Be reminded also that salvation is not reserved for you and your family alone, or you and your church/denomination alone, for this was dealt with in today’s Scripture. God made us all, and He looks on each of us as His children who are all subject to the benefits of His grace. You may be a foreigner in the country in which you are living and worshiping, but you are considered a child of the only King! You may have a different color skin from the majority of your church members, but you are still a child of the same King who made us all. God loves us all, and holds His hand out with readiness to accept us all, so I pray that we would never try to place a roadblock in the path of one of His precious kids looking for a simple relationship with their Master and Lord. At the foot of the cross, we all look alike to Jesus. We are either accepted into His kingdom because He sees nothing but the blood of His precious Son, or we are turned away because of our stubborn rejection of His Son. Friends, there is nothing in this world more valuable than knowing Jesus personally. That’s the only thing that will last, or make a difference for eternity. Stop looking around dear friend, know my Savior today and know peace – the peace that passeth all understanding. I look forward to seeing you at the feet of our Savior one day – very soon!
PRAYER: Precious Lord, I am reminded that as I address You intimately today, there are many who are also addressing You as Father, who may look very different to me here on earth, and may believe Your Word differently to what I believe. Through Grace, we are saved! So in Your eyes, I believe that You are looking at my Brothers and Sisters from all parts of the world, the same way that You look on me as Your precious son. Lord, I want to live like You here on earth. Please help me to look on others through the same lens that You see us – Children of One Lord and Savior. Oh that You may be glorified through my readers and I today, so that unsaved loved ones will want to know You – this is my humble please oh Lord, 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 might 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 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 encourage you to attend my home church. 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!