Daily Devotional: Saturday 28th Marchby William Moody
Peter Reports to the Church
11:1 Now the apostles and the brothers1 who were throughout Judea heard that the Gentiles also had received the word of God. 2 So when Peter went up to Jerusalem, the circumcision party2 criticized him, saying, 3 “You went to uncircumcised men and ate with them.” 4 But Peter began and explained it to them in order: 5 “I was in the city of Joppa praying, and in a trance I saw a vision, something like a great sheet descending, being let down from heaven by its four corners, and it came down to me. 6 Looking at it closely, I observed animals and beasts of prey and reptiles and birds of the air. 7 And I heard a voice saying to me, ‘Rise, Peter; kill and eat.’ 8 But I said, ‘By no means, Lord; for nothing common or unclean has ever entered my mouth.’ 9 But the voice answered a second time from heaven, ‘What God has made clean, do not call common.’ 10 This happened three times, and all was drawn up again into heaven. 11 And behold, at that very moment three men arrived at the house in which we were, sent to me from Caesarea. 12 And the Spirit told me to go with them, making no distinction. These six brothers also accompanied me, and we entered the man's house. 13 And he told us how he had seen the angel stand in his house and say, ‘Send to Joppa and bring Simon who is called Peter; 14 he will declare to you a message by which you will be saved, you and all your household.’ 15 As I began to speak, the Holy Spirit fell on them just as on us at the beginning. 16 And I remembered the word of the Lord, how he said, ‘John baptized with water, but you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit.’ 17 If then God gave the same gift to them as he gave to us when we believed in the Lord Jesus Christ, who was I that I could stand in God's way?” 18 When they heard these things they fell silent. And they glorified God, saying, “Then to the Gentiles also God has granted repentance that leads to life.”
News of what happened at Cornelius’ home spread among the believers (v1), but not all were happy (v2-3).
In breaking new ground with the Gospel, believers will face opposition and sadly at times that will be from within the church. We must be ready for that.
Peter’s response is to share his own personal journey of how he was moved from someone opposed to reaching out to Gentiles to someone actively involved (v4-17). Behind Peter’s account there are two key aspects:- a. What God said (v4-10) and b. What God did (v11-17).
Peter’s attitude had previously been out of step with God, but through God’s Word and actions he is moved to getting into step with God. But not only was Peter moved, the church too was moved in their outlook (v18).
In our lives, individually and as a church we are used to doing things a certain way that we probably are very comfortable with. But what if God wants to move us out of our comfort zone? Are you open to being changed by the word and action of God? If not then you could be in danger of opposing God (v17). Ask God to show you where He wants to bring change into your outlook and actions. We need to change, because none of us are perfect.
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