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September 9, 2023: Hard Conversations

Daily Scripture: Acts 11:1-30



Hard Conversations

We grow up. We learn right from wrong. We learn what it means to be a Christian. We learn what it means to be a human being. All of this learning begins to set a number of rules and prejudices in our mind. Most of us don’t think of life as a set of rules but when one of them gets broken, it throws us off. Things are just supposed to work a certain way.


In our own lives we have been confronted by some of these barriers. Some of them might be the gender divide, the racial divide, the educational divide, the age divide, the economic divide, or even the religious divide. Our rules often turn into these prejudices and we begin to judge people, thinking that they are the wrong gender, wrong color, wrong degree, too old, too young, too rich, too poor, or wrong religion. When we open our mind and our hearts, we know that those delineations are often silly. Jesus calls us to love all people, regardless of where they fall into all of those previously mentioned categories.


Peter not only faces these rules turned into prejudices, but he also has to take it back to his people and share how God is working through it. He was ministering to Gentiles (considered wrong), he went into a Gentiles home (considered wrong), he ate with Gentiles (considered wrong), and he ate Gentile food (considered wrong).


Not only does Peter listen to the guidance of the Holy Spirit and do a new thing that God is calling him to do that is so far out of his comfort zone, he also has the strength to go back and share it with others that he knew may hold it against him.


Peter isn’t the only hero of the story. He may not even be the one that should be most applauded. It happens in verse 18. “When the others heard this, they stopped objecting and began praising God. They said, ‘We can see that God has also given the Gentiles the privilege of repenting of their sins and receiving eternal life.’” How cool is that? We often have first hand experiences that take our blinders off. But when we are told a story, so often we are so entrenched that we don’t even hear. Praise be to God that gives all the privilege of repenting of their sins and receiving eternal life.


Questions:

  1. What experiences have you had that broke the “rules” and made you realize that some prejudices are just plain silly?

  2. When have you hid this experience away because you didn’t want to be judged by others?

  3. When have you had the strength to stand up for others and share your experience?

Daily Prayer:

Our Heavenly Father, grant us the strength to follow Your Holy Spirit. Give us the strength to carry the good news of Jesus Christ to everyone, no matter how scary or against the “rules” it may be. Let it be a great day growing in relationship with you. Amen.



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