“Then Paul and Barnabas answered them boldly: ‘We had to speak the word of God to you first. Since you reject it and do not consider yourselves worthy of eternal life, we now turn to the Gentiles.” (Acts 13:46)
Paul and Barnabas were intending to expand the Christian Church and their focus was to be on the importance of sharing the truth of God’s expansion of His Church by sharing the Gospel message of salvation. There were attempting to reach out to pagan races, but were not being received, They rejected it and so they said they would simply focus on the Gentiles.
They and we are to remember who Jesus is and what He commanded us to do; to understand the essentials of the Gospel and to proclaim it to the world; to recognize how worldwide dimensions of our mission challenge; to refuse to let barriers and obstacles from preventing from preventing us from sharing the message of Christ; to reach out to all people in Chris’s name, regardless of race or social status; the recognize that God still wants to perform “signs and wonders” in our midst; to examine daily God’s Word so we can be more effective for Him. If we should do less than this, is to show prejudice towards other people, when it ought to reveal our commitment to serve God through Christ Jesus.
PRAYER FOR THE DAY:
Precious Abba, let us be ever vigilant to our efforts to share the message of salvation with all people, no matter their race or color or gender. Let us be led by Your Holy Spirit that is within us, to speak the truth to everyone, no matter where we are. This we pray. Amen
THOUGHT OF THE DAY:
“No force is greater than the poser of God.”
“On arriving there, they gathered the people together and reported all that God had done through them and how he had opened the door of faith in the Gentiles.” (Acts 14:27)
The church at Antioch received the message to send out missionaries. At the conclusion of the first missionary journey, the church gathered to hear how God opened the door of faith to the Gentiles. The local church should be involved in mission work far beyond its location. This means you should not interpret this as moving into a community and taking over someone else’s mission work, bur that we are to look around our own community first, to ensure we are taking care of the needs in our own community, while still help out mission work elsewhere.
“From one man he made every nation of men, that they should inhabit the whole earth; and he determined the times set for them and he exact places where they should live.” (Acts 17:26)
This verse has been used to defend racism on the grounds that certain ethnic groups should “go back to where they came from” or “stay where they belong.” The verse is part of the larger context of Paul’s sermon on Mars Hill dealing with the sovereignty of God. Thus, the primary discussion is God-centered or theological and not man-centered or anthropological. Rather than supporting God-ordained racial superiority, this verse portrays the encompassing love of God for all people. From creation onward wee share common characteristics as members of God’s created family. Creation joins us together rather than separates us.
2ND THOUGHT OF THE DAY:
“A teacher of the law asked Jesus what he must do to inherit eternal life. Jesus asked him what is written in the Law? He answered: ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind;’ and, ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ In reply Jesus said: ‘A man was going down fro Jerusalem to Jericho, when he fell into the hands of robbers. They stripped him of his clothes, beat him and went away, leaving him half-dead. A priest happened to be going down the same road, and when he saw the man, he passed by on he other side. So too, a Levite, when he came to the place and saw him, passed by on the others side. But a Samaritan, as he traveled, came where the man was; and when he saw him and bandaged his wounds, pouring on oil and wine. Then he put the man on his own donkey, took him to an inn and cared for him. The next day he took out two silver coins and gave them to the innkeeper. ‘Look after him, he said, and when I return, I will reimburse you for any extra expense you may have.’ Which of these three do you think was a neighbor to the man who fell into the hands of robbers? The expert in the law replied, ‘The one who had mercy on him.’ Jesus told him, ‘Go and do likewise.’” (Luke 10:25, 30-37)
Anyone of us can come up with excuses for the priest or the Levite, probably good, logical reasons why they did not stop, but moved to the other side of the road and kept on going their way. The law expert was trying to test Jesus and He turned the whole example towards him. Have you ever seen someone in trouble and reached out to them to help them out of their situation? When asked by them to repay you, did you take it our just say something like, “Just help someone else sometime, that repayment enough.” In this case, the man had been set upon by robbers, stripped of his clothing, and beaten within an inch of his death. Two people came by, but simply crossed the road and continued you on, while the Samaritan stopped; give his the best first aid he could; put him on his donkey and then arriving at an inn, continues to meet his physical needs. In the morning he gives the innkeeper money and says, “I have to go on but I will come back and if you have any further expenses, I’ll repay you.’
The Samaritan finds the man almost dead, yet treats him as best as he can then puts him on the donkey to the inn. This man showed the man on the side of the road unconditional love and mercy and was attentive to his needs, never asking for anything in return.
“Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all you strength and with all your mind;” and, “Love your neighbor as yourself.” “Do this and you will live.”