Being a missionary, at my first glance, I felt was being thrown a softball to knock out of the park with this passage being chosen for me. At this divine appointment in the home of Cornelius, Peter declares that “I now realize how true it is that God does not show favouritism but accepts from every nation the one who fears him and does what is right” (Acts 10:34-35). Duh! We all know that; it’s my job to know and live that truth. We learned that in Missions 101.
However, in the spirit of Lent and in this season we are gifted to refine our character in Christ further, let’s examine how God favours us. Sure, many of us may have it all squared away in terms of knowing that the Good News is for all people. Nevertheless, what is your growing edge regarding where you have drawn a line in the sand with others? Does God favour you against those whom you are currently battling? This could be a battle within the church, outside of the church, in your neighbourhood, city or town, in politics, in your fight for whatever you are fighting. It could even be a fight within your own family.
Let’s consider that God is the one who determines who fears him and does what is right. In times of conflict, it is easy to claim God’s desire and will for your side of the fight but let’s take Peter’s reminder that we should allow God to work that out. Possibly we can follow Peter’s example and be willing to even dine with a Gentile.
In addition to God favouring all of those who fear him, he also does not deny the Holy Spirit from anyone who accepts him. It doesn’t matter if one is Jew or Gentile, circumcised or uncircumcised, the Holy Spirit is a gift for all people. As we read through Acts together, we see just how dependent the early believers were on the Holy Spirit.
The Spirit empowers us to do the mission as Jesus tells us in the Great Commission. In this season of Lent, we also know that Holy Spirit convicts and refines. He has the power to do that if we let him.
How is the Holy Spirit convicting you of your sins and refining you further into his image today?
Ministry Partner, Ecuador