Acts 11:1-18 Celebrate for the Right Reasons
11 The apostles and the believers throughout Judea heard that the Gentiles also had received the word of God. 2 So when Peter went up to Jerusalem, the circumcised believers criticized him 3 and said, “You went into the house of uncircumcised men and ate with them.” 4 Starting from the beginning, Peter told them the whole story: 5 “I was in the city of Joppa praying, and in a trance I saw a vision. I saw something like a large sheet being let down from heaven by its four corners, and it came down to where I was. 6 I looked into it and saw four-footed animals of the earth, wild beasts, reptiles and birds. 7 Then I heard a voice telling me, ‘Get up, Peter. Kill and eat.’ 8 “I replied, ‘Surely not, Lord! Nothing impure or unclean has ever entered my mouth.’ 9 “The voice spoke from heaven a second time, ‘Do not call anything impure that God has made clean.’ 10 This happened three times, and then it was all pulled up to heaven again. 11 “Right then three men who had been sent to me from Caesarea stopped at the house where I was staying. 12 The Spirit told me to have no hesitation about going with them. These six brothers also went with me, and we entered the man’s house. 13 He told us how he had seen an angel appear in his house and say, ‘Send to Joppa for Simon who is called Peter. 14 He will bring you a message through which you and all your household will be saved.’ 15 “As I began to speak, the Holy Spirit came on them as he had come on us at the beginning. 16 Then I remembered what the Lord had said: ‘John baptized with water, but you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit.’ 17 So if God gave them the same gift he gave us who believed in the Lord Jesus Christ, who was I to think that I could stand in God’s way?” 18 When they heard this, they had no further objections and praised God, saying, “So then, even to Gentiles God has granted repentance that leads to life.”
Living God’s Word: Once the Jewish believers heard the full story from Peter about the salvation of the Gentiles, they immediately praised God. This is a godly response. Sadly, it is the opposite of what so often happens: Someone who is different experiences blessing, and we secretly mourn their good fortune. A person not in our circle finds trouble, and we take a curious delight in their plight. We need to embrace the biblical mandate that says “When others are happy, be happy with them. If they are sad, share their sorrow” (Romans 12:15 nlt). When God blesses someone else, do you celebrate or complain?
Words to Live By: Through the Law, God condemns all sinners and drives them to repentance; through the Gospel, He grants life everlasting. Live a life of daily repentance, and glorify God for His lavish blessings and gifts to you and all people.
Prayer: Lord, let our likeness to some not be a barrier to others. Draw everyone to You, O Holy Spirit, even the unlikely. Amen
Living and Sharing the Word of God… because it matters!
Pastor Rod Lindemann
JourneyMen – Get on the Journey!
The Holy Bible: New International Version. (2011). Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan
Words to Live by and Prayer: Engelbrecht, E. A. (2009). The Lutheran Study Bible (2002). St. Louis, MO: Concordia Publishing House. Purchase a copy of The Lutheran Study Bible at www.cph.org or contact Rod Lindemann.
Living God’s Word: Adapted from Life Application, Barton, B. B. Wheaton, IL: Tyndale House Publishers.