Accepting Even Those People - Saturday's Dose - 2nd February 2013

Saturday's Dose - 2nd February 2013

Accepting Even Those People

Then Peter opened his mouth, and said, Of a truth I perceive that God is no respecter of persons: But in every nation he that feareth him, and worketh righteousness, is accepted with him. The word which God sent unto the children of Israel, preaching peace by Jesus Christ: (he is Lord of all:) That word, I say, ye know, which was published throughout all Judaea, and began from Galilee, after the baptism which John preached; How God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Ghost and with power: who went about doing good, and healing all that were oppressed of the devil; for God was with him. - (Act 10:34)

While praying, Peter grew hungry. As he waited for someone to bring him food, he experienced a vision. He saw a large sheet from heaven being lowered to the ground by its corners. All kinds of animals were carried in this sheet. Then he heard a voice that told him to kill and eat, but he replied that he would not eat unclean or profane animals. Jews considered several animals, such as pigs, camels, and bottom-feeding fish, as unclean and unfit to eat. And the voice responded, saying, "What God has made clean, you must not call profane. " This happened three times before the vision ceased. (Acts 10:9-16)

This vision troubled Peter, and, while he was thinking it over, some men came looking for him on behalf of a Roman centurion named Cornelius. The messengers told Peter that Cornelius was God-fearing and well-respected among Jews and wanted to hear what Peter had to say. So Peter went with the men to meet Cornelius.

Cornelius had also had a vision shortly after praying. A man in dazzling clothes appeared and told him his prayer had been heard. Then the man told him to send for Peter.

When the two men compared their visions, Peter's own vision became clear as he realized that even Gentiles could know God. The food the Gentiles ate, much of which was forbidden to Jews, was actually now acceptable in God's eyes. God was doing a new thing.

At first, God wanted the Jews to stand apart from the rest of the world, and separated them by restricting the food of the Jews. Differences in food prevented them from becoming too friendly with the outside world. Now, through the simultaneous visions of Peter and the centurion, God was telling us that food would unify all people as God's children. Even today, churches use food to unite members of their congregation.

Yet, we still struggle to accept some people even if we eat the same foods. We create other barriers according to race, church, ethnicity, age, status,… We especially notice differences in others when we first meet them. As we get to know them and befriend them, we notice the similarities.

We may prefer not to mingle with prisoners or the homeless or the very sick, but Jesus would have befriended these. We need to stop shying away from people we find unsavory and start noticing them as possible friends in Christ. In some cases, we might be a person's only connection to God. If the roles were reversed and you were seen as the sinner, would you want to be passed by?

We're all created in God's image. We're all God's children. God shows no favoritism. Neither should we.

Prayer: Our Heavenly Father, you have us in your net. We cannot wriggle free of it. Give us gentle hearts that are loving and kind to all people we encounter. Thank you for hearing and answering my prayer. Gratefully, In Jesus Loving Name I Pray, Amen."

Have a Blessed Saturday and God Bless you.
Courtesy : Daily Dose Devotionals Team