Friday, February 3, 2017
Today’s Bible Reading: Exodus 35-36, Acts 10
Topic: Overcoming Prejudice
SCRIPTURE: Acts 10:34-35
34 Then Peter opened his mouth and said: “In truth I perceive that God shows no partiality. 35 But in every nation whoever fears Him and works righteousness is accepted by Him. (Acts 10:34-35 NKJV)
Peter received a critically illuminating truth from God, “God shows no partiality… whoever fears Him and works righteousness is accepted by Him.” Think about what must have been going on in Peter’s mind. He may have been thinking, “But God, aren’t we Hebrews Your chosen people? Doesn’t that mean we’re better? Aren’t we supposed to stay separated from other peoples because they are unclean and inferior to us? What’s going on God?” But God’s answer was clear, “What God has cleansed you must not call common” (v. 15). The profound truth revealed to Peter and to us, is that what God was revealing was not new. God was not suddenly changing the rules. This was always true of God’s heart for all mankind—it is true today.
What we discover from this passage is that God’s chosen people are “whoever fears Him and works righteousness” (v. 35)—that is, anyone and everyone who calls upon the name of the Lord shall be saved (Joel 2:32, Acts 2:21, Romans 10:13).
Christians are susceptible to falling into the same error as the Jews in Peter’s day. We dare not begin to think of ourselves as better, just blessed to be saved by His grace. Yes, we are to separate ourselves in the sense that, as we fear Him, we strive to live apart from the sinful weaknesses we have now been forgiven of, and strive to live righteously before Him (v. 35). But, contrary to some theological schools of thought, I do not believe that God chooses some people and rejects others. His choice is for all mankind to accept and receive Him. He is, “not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance” (2 Peter 3:9).
Lord, as I seek to serve You, may I not live separate from people lost in sin, but rather live separate from the sinful weaknesses that once separated me from You. By Your grace and with Your help, may I accept all people whom You love, and help them to see that you have chosen them too.
Through Christ Jesus the Savior. Amen. -AP