Text: Acts 15:1-21
Theme: God’s way is the same for all, but not all see it the same way.
Key verses: “While Paul and Barnabas were at Antioch of Syria, some men from Judea arrived and began to teach the believers: ‘Unless you are circumcised as required by the law of Moses, you cannot be saved.’ Paul and Barnabas disagreed with them, arguing vehemently. Finally, the church decided to send Paul and Barnabas to Jerusalem…to talk to the apostles and elders about this question…they stopped along the way in Phoenicia and Samaria to visit the believers. They told them–much to everyone’s joy–that the Gentiles, too, were being converted. When they arrived in Jerusalem, Barnabas and Paul were welcomed by the whole church, including the apostles and elders. They reported everything God had done through them. But then some of the believers who belonged to the sect of the Pharisees stood up and insisted, ‘The Gentile converts must be circumcised and required to follow the law of Moses.’ So the apostles and elders met together to resolve this issue. At the meeting…Peter stood and addressed them…’why are you now challenging God by burdening the Gentile believers with a yoke that neither we nor our ancestors were able to bear? We believe that we are all saved the same way, by the undeserved grace of the Lord Jesus.’ (v. 1-11) “When they had finished, James stood and said…’my judgment is that we should not make it difficult for the Gentiles who are turning to God. Instead, we should write and tell them to abstain from eating food offered to idols, from sexual immorality…For these laws of Moses have been preached in Jewish synagogues in every city on every Sabbath for many generations” (v. 19-21).
What God said to me: Dwayne, I have much to show you in this passage. But today you are too distracted to listen and learn. Thus, I cannot show you new things today. You must first die to yourself and decide to place your complete hope and trust in me. You are cumbered about with much serving. You are anxious and unsettled. You think you have to move and do things to help fix your apparently dire situation with the NLW finances and future. But what you must do more than anything is be. Just be. You must be before you do. Be still, be quiet, be my child, be my servant, be my soldier, be attentive, be contented, be determined, be refreshed, be encouraged, be a student, be my disciple and chosen beloved. Mary chose that good part. She sat at my feet and learned from me. Do the same, Dwayne. Take my yoke upon you. Learn of me. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light. Decide today, right now, to listen and obey. Shrug off your spirit of heaviness. Instead, put on a garment of praise. Praise me no matter your circumstances. Decide to walk right out of this valley with your Lord, with your defender and provider, with me, your all in all and the lover of your soul.
What I said to God: Well, this is not what I had in mind for today’s devo, but You know, Father, that it is what I need. Thank You that You haven’t given up on me. You still love me. There is still breath in my lungs and hope in my heart. I am Your child–a child of the King! I revel in that reality. Help me keep my eyes firmly fixed on You today. Help me have the courage and tenacity to contact the ones I need to about Walkathon, Praise Gathering, and next year’s plan. Meanwhile, help me be still and know that You are God. You will never leave us or forsake us. The good work You started in me and in NLWI You will continue to do until the day Jesus returns to take His own. I praise You for that amazing truth! I choose to worship You today.