Holy Spirit, let Your presence fill my life today. Open my heart to receive all that You have for me.
Read Acts 10:34–48
34 Then Peter began to speak: “I now realize how true it is that God does not show favoritism 35 but accepts from every nation the one who fears him and does what is right. 36 You know the message God sent to the people of Israel, announcing the good news of peace through Jesus Christ, who is Lord of all. 37 You know what has happened throughout the province of Judea, beginning in Galilee after the baptism that John preached— 38 how God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and power, and how he went around doing good and healing all who were under the power of the devil, because God was with him.
39 “We are witnesses of everything he did in the country of the Jews and in Jerusalem. They killed him by hanging him on a cross, 40 but God raised him from the dead on the third day and caused him to be seen. 41 He was not seen by all the people, but by witnesses whom God had already chosen—by us who ate and drank with him after he rose from the dead. 42 He commanded us to preach to the people and to testify that he is the one whom God appointed as judge of the living and the dead. 43 All the prophets testify about him that everyone who believes in him receives forgiveness of sins through his name.”
44 While Peter was still speaking these words, the Holy Spirit came on all who heard the message. 45 The circumcised believers who had come with Peter were astonished that the gift of the Holy Spirit had been poured out even on Gentiles. 46 For they heard them speaking in tongues and praising God.
Then Peter said, 47 “Surely no one can stand in the way of their being baptized with water. They have received the Holy Spirit just as we have.” 48 So he ordered that they be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ. Then they asked Peter to stay with them for a few days.
New International Version (NIV)
Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
ReflectIsn’t it great when things turn out even better than you planned or hoped?
Peter’s brief sermon was an eye-opener for this audience. They barely knew of Jesus, but they were hungry for God. In eight short statements, Peter told them all they needed to know: God has no favorites (34); he accepts people of every nationality (35); he spoke through Jesus (a Jew), who is Lord of all (36); Jesus was killed on a cross (39); God raised him from the dead; Peter himself was a witness of these events (41); Jesus said that he was appointed by God to judge everyone (42); by believing in Jesus, everyone can receive forgiveness of sins (43).
These pithy words had an astonishing effect, as the Holy Spirit came upon the people in the house. As they praised God and spoke in tongues, the Gospel burst out of its Jewish roots to extend its blessings to all people everywhere. Peter’s companions were amazed. Evidently Peter was not. The vision on the rooftop in Joppa had done
its work in him, and by organizing the water baptism of these new converts, Peter welcomed them in.
Do you really believe that God loves and accepts everyone? Take this time to search your heart for any hidden prejudices.
Praise God that whatever size, color, gender, age, personality you are, he loves you and welcomes you into his kingdom.
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