34 Opening his mouth, Peter said: “I most certainly understand now that God is not one to show partiality,
35 but in every nation the man who fears Him and does what is right is welcome to Him.
36 “The word which He sent to the sons of Israel, preaching peace through Jesus Christ (He is Lord of all)—
37 you yourselves know the thing which took place throughout all Judea, starting from Galilee, after the baptism which John proclaimed.
38 “You know of Jesus of Nazareth, how God anointed Him with the Holy Spirit and with power, and how He went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil, for God was with Him.
Acts 10:34-38 (NASB)
Our scripture this week states “You know of Jesus…”. It tells of what we know He did, what his fruits were, “…how He went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil…”. Jesus helped people. Last quarter we went about putting on new habits to make a New Self, discarding old habits to rid ourselves of the Old Self so we could be a New Self. Now, we will add guidance to that New Self.
Verse thirtyeight clearly tells us what guided Jesus in His actions, “…God anointed Him with the Holy Spirit…”. God did this. Even Jesus wen to the Father to get His direction.
Towards the end of the last quarter we were also working on manifesting good ‘fruits’ in our lives for God, but what fruits? Where to go and what to do? If those questions still burn in you for answers, it is only with the council of God that we can find them, and in the Peace that God offers.
Jesus is the soul of Peace. The Jews of Jesus’ time were expecting an earthly king that would throw off the oppressive yoke of the Roman government. This did not happen in an earthly fashion and they were disappointed. God did not send His Son to bring the sword of strife and death to the earth. God sent Jesus to bring Life to Mankind. Who would hear the message of Christ if he delivered it at the point of the sword? We are still in Advent for His second coming and in order to make the best preparations we too should deliver the message of Christ not with the sword of force, but with the outstretched palm of the kindness. The wagging finger of accusation and judgment does not gather as many open ears as the open hand of friendship.
Perhaps the fruit of your calling does not lead you to the places where the front line evangelism happens. If your gifts are those of support and administration I would encourage you to be in prayerful consideration about who and what you support. I say this not to cause you to withdraw your support but rather to consider the idea that everyone needs the message of Jesus, even those we don’t like. We need to support those people who can successfully evangelize those folks even though we may not agree with how they live. After all, there are people out there who don’t agree with how you live and someone still reached into your life with the message of Jesus. Who are we to deny that joy from someone else?
For Further Study and Action
- Spend time in prayerful contemplation of where you are in God’s work for bringing His children to Him. Are you filling the watering pail, sowing the word, watering the planted seed, or pruning the weeds of the garden?