June 6, 2011

The Book of Acts - God at Work

Acts 15:6-21 The Jerusalem Council

As we continue following Paul through Acts, today we get to listen in at the Jerusalem Council, where 300 early leaders met. Some familiar leaders of the Christian faith are present; Peter, Paul, Barnabus and James, the brother of Jesus.  Wouldn't you have just loved to be sitting in this group of spiritual giants?

They've come to a discussion once again about Jews and Gentiles.  This is taking place about 49AD, so it is amazing to think that after all this time they are still trying to sort out and reconcile in their minds that Jews and Gentiles share the same inheritance of Christ.  James seems to set them all straight when he declares, "It is my judgment, therefore, that we should not make it difficult for the Gentiles who are turning to God." (vs19)

I'm wondering if we too make it seem difficult to turn to God.  Do we judge others on their appearance, how they dress, their haircut, or tattoos, and decide they aren't worthy of the grace of Christ?  That they don't fit the mold? OUR mold?

Let's be reminded from Peter, "We believe it is through the grace of our Lord Jesus that we are saved, just as they are." (v11)  We are all saved by grace, and nothing else.  Jesus only looks at the heart, not our outward appearance.

If we are paying attention, God is working in us and through us all the time.   Has someone different than you recently moved to your neighborhood?  Is their a new employee at your company?  Someone new to your church who might stand out a bit?  God doesn't work by chance, He works very purposefully.  Is there someone new in your life that may need YOUR grace and YOUR witness?

God is always at work.  How can you work with Him for the salvation in the lives of others?  You may have a divine appointment with someone new in your life, don't miss it!

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