Acts 11:1-18

            Grace trumps everything.  One of the most scandalous truths of Christianity is that God graces common ordinary people who seem as dead as a bowling ball with the Holy Spirit and gives them life.  The Apostle Peter had to learn this with some difficulty, but he embraced the work of God among the non-Jewish Gentiles.  “The Holy Spirit fell on them just as on us at the beginning” is Peter’s plain account and confession of the reality that God grants repentance that leads to life for all kinds of people no matter what their race, ethnicity, class, or background.  It is a wondrous and astounding spiritual truth that God’s gracious concern is not limited to a certain type of person.

            Along with Peter and the other believers so long ago, let us rejoice in the work of God that brings deliverance and transformation.  Grace is and ought to be the guiding factor in how we interact with people.  Losing sight of grace leads to being critical and defensive.  Embracing grace leads to the humility to see the image of God in people very different from ourselves.  Grace tears down barriers and causes us to do away with unnecessary distinctions between others.  Our appropriate response to such a grace is to glorify God for his marvelous and amazing work.  Let it be so.

            Gracious God, just as you saved people from ancient times and gifted them with your Holy Spirit, so today continue your mighty work of transformation in the hearts of people I share the good news of Jesus with.  Amen.

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