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Because I Said So

Daily ReadingActs 11


But the voice answered a second time from heaven, "What God has made clean, do not call common." (Acts 11.9)


Devotional Thought: Called before the church, Peter had to explain why he had gone into the house of a Gentile (non-Jew) and had eaten with him.  At this time, the church consisted mainly of Jewish believers who observed strict Jewish regulations while following Jesus.  One of those regulations was that they were forbidden to enter and eat with non-Jewish households.  It was believed that eating with these unclean people would defile clean people.


As we read in Acts 10, Peter had gone into Cornelius’ house to share the good news of Jesus and to welcome them into the Church through baptism.  It was a scandal!  When asked about it, Peter simply explained that he was following God the best way that he knew how.  He related to them about the vision he had had.  He told them about the men arriving at just the right time.  He explained that God had poured out his Spirit on these Gentiles.  Then he asked them, “Who was I to think that I could oppose God?” (v. 17)


At the crux of this situation was the fact that God had made Cornelius and his household clean.  They were no longer defiled, for they had been granted “repentance unto life” (v. 18).  God had told Peter through the vision that he had made them clean.


Are we guilty of the same mistake today?  Are we calling people unclean whom God has called clean?  Are we putting boundaries around Christ that make it hopeless for people to get to him?  Are we shutting out people from fellowship with the church because they are different from us?  Let us be sensitive to the Spirit as he cleans up sinners and makes them a part of the family of God!


Prayer: Lord, it is so easy to fall into the pattern of thought that says people must be like me, act like me, talk like me.  Help me to see, though, that you make all sorts of people clean and to accept them as you have.  Amen.


Psalm of the Day: Psalm 72:8-16

8 May he rule from sea to sea and from the River to the ends of the earth.

9 May the desert tribes bow before him and his enemies lick the dust.

10 May the kings of Tarshish and of distant shores bring tribute to him. May the kings of Sheba and Seba present him gifts.

11 May all kings bow down to him and all nations serve him.

12 For he will deliver the needy who cry out, the afflicted who have no one to help.

13 He will take pity on the weak and the needy and save the needy from death.

14 He will rescue them from oppression and violence, for precious is their blood in his sight.

15 Long may he live! May gold from Sheba be given him. May people ever pray for him and bless him all day long.

16 May grain abound throughout the land; on the tops of the hills may it sway. May the crops flourish like Lebanon and thrive like the grass of the field.

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