Acts 11

Day 11, Acts 11.

In the previous chapter, we saw how God had called Gentile believers and baptized them in the Holy Spirit and then Peter baptized them in water.

15 And as I began to speak, the Holy Spirit fell upon them just as He did upon us at the beginning. 16 And I remembered the word of the Lord, how He used to say, ‘John baptized with water, but you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit.’ 17 Therefore if God gave to them the same gift as He gave to us also after believing in the Lord Jesus Christ, who was I that I could stand in God’s way?”

Notice that Peter said who was he to stand in God’s way? So many times we allow our understanding of how things SHOULD be to tarnish our understanding of what God is doing. May we all not want to stand in the way of God!

At first, the Jewish believers in Jerusalem were upset, but when Peter explained what GOD had done,

‘When they heard this, they quieted down and glorified God, saying, “Well then, God has granted to the Gentiles also the repentance that leads to life.”’

How I wish we would all treat people as God did – seeing no preference for Gentiles or Jews. God sent His Son to pay the sins of everyone – effective for those who were appointed to eternal life (Acts 13:48).

The Jews went forth during the persecution, and some of them shared the gospel with Greeks.  And the hand of the Lord was with them, and a large number who believed turned to the Lord. 22 The news about them reached the ears of the church at Jerusalem, and they sent Barnabas off to Antioch. 23 Then when he arrived and witnessed the grace of God, he rejoiced and began to encourage them all with resolute heart to remain true to the Lord

Verse 21 is an interesting statement,And the hand of the Lord was with them, and a large number who believed turned to the Lord.” Does that mean that not everyone who believed turned to the Lord? Scripture does not say here. But we know that Barnabas went and got Saul so together they could teach the church.

A prophet spoke and warned of an upcoming famine. The believers in Antioch, mostly Gentiles, gave money to the Jewish believers in Jerusalem. Should non-Jewish believers ignore the believers in Israel today? No! We should do likewise and do what we can for their well-being.

What about you? Will you seek ways to bless believers of other nations and ethnic groups and languages and colors? This is what a believer in Christ is supposed to do – love GOD and love others in practical means.

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