January 4

Acts 10:34-43

“Then Peter began to speak to them: ‘I truly understand that God shows no partiality, but in every nation anyone who fears him and does what is right is acceptable to him.’” vss. 34-35

The early followers of Jesus were almost exclusively Jewish and had continued to practice their faith according to the commandments laid out in the Law. Peter was one of their leaders and carried the message of the Risen Christ to the scattered villages of Judea. He was well-known as a teacher and a healer, but when he was invited to the home of a Roman army officer named Cornelius, he was forced to reexamine his call. Under the influence of the Holy Spirit he put aside his prejudices and was forced to admit that God was bigger than he had ever imagined. We can imagine the words sticking in his throat when he acknowledges to Cornelius that God shows no partiality. That was huge! It’s always been hard for people of faith to put aside exclusive notions about how special they are. Instead we compete with one another, with each religion or denomination or congregation claiming that its doctrines, practices, and traditions are superior to any others. The truth is that every person has a God-connection and can be led by the Spirit to live a God-pleasing life. Our task is to quit comparing and quietly focus on the mission of serving and loving that the Spirit has given into our hands. 

Thought for the Day: Why do we like to ridicule the beliefs of others?

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