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No Good Deed Goes...

Daily Reading: Acts 11

Scripture Focus: Now the apostles and the brothers who were throughout Judea heard that the Gentiles also had received the word of God. So when Peter went up to Jerusalem, the circumcision party criticized him, saying... (Acts 11.1-2)

Devotional Thought: "No good deed... goes unpunished!" I once read a story about a University of Georgia Alumnus who found a wallet lost by a UGA student. It didn't turn out well for the Alumnus. He was accused of stealing the wallet and the $500 that was in it! The guy was just baffled. "You try to do something good, and then..."

I wonder if that phrase was in use when Peter was called on the carpet - by church people no less! - for winning people to Christ. He had gone in response to a vision from the Holy Spirit, and preached the gospel to Gentiles. The legalists of "the circumcision party" did not like that. "What business did you have of going into the home of a Gentile!?" Some Jews thought themselves too good to associate with ungodly Gentiles.

What did Peter do? Did he admit his error? Did he buckle under pressure? Did he just decide it wasn't worth it? Did he get angry with those hypocrites in the church? No! With grace and simplicity, he defended his position and patiently explained what happened.

Thankfully, the established Christians back in Jerusalem were open-minded and realized that it was they who were wrong. "When they heard these things they fell silent. And they glorified God" (Acts 11.18). They not only changed their mind, they publicly acknowledged their mistake and allowed the church to go in a new - and for them uncomfortable - direction.

I'm so glad that somebody took a chance on me! I was one of those 'unsaveables', but the folks at Pioneer Church of the Nazarene didn't care. They loved me and won me to Christ. Aren't you glad someone did that for you?

Prayer: Jesus, thank you that you died for my sins and that you have invited me into your family. Help me to be gracious and courageous enough to extend that invitation to those who may seem "unsaveable" to me and others. Amen.

Psalm of the Day: 1 Make haste, O God, to deliver me! O LORD, make haste to help me! 2 Let them be put to shame and confusion who seek my life! Let them be turned back and brought to dishonor who delight in my hurt! 3 Let them turn back because of their shame who say, "Aha, Aha!" 4 May all who seek you rejoice and be glad in you! May those who love your salvation say evermore, "God is great!" 5 But I am poor and needy; hasten to me, O God! You are my help and my deliverer; O LORD, do not delay! (Psalms 70:1-5)

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