Acts 10:23b-48

Today’s devotion is written by Mark Mitchell.

“While Peter was still speaking these words, the Holy Spirit came on all who heard the message. The circumcised believers who had come with Peter were astonished that the gift of the Holy Spirit had been poured out even on Gentiles.” (Acts 10:44-45)

Invalid is the distinction between clean and unclean.  God does not favor individuals because of their station in life, their nationality or their material possessions. He does, however, respect their character and judge their work. This is evident because God “accepts men from every nation who fear him and do what is right”  If one is God-fearing, they show honor and respect to God, they are committed to a warmly sincere pursuit, belief or mode of behavior.  … And God welcomes them, all people, as we, United Methodists, welcome them with an open heart, an open mind, and open doors.

It is such a wonderful feeling. Acceptance.  It is a wonderful gift from God.  It is a wonderful gift we can bestow on one another.  Undoubtedly, you have felt it.  I felt it perhaps most strongly years ago when during an 11:00am worship at First Church.  We were in the process of welcoming a baby into our congregation, the pastor completed his duties at the baptismal font, …and, as was the tradition, while pastor walked amongst the pews, we each sang together “Jesus Loves Me” (all three verses +) to this child to whom we had just pledged our devotion.  As I write, the memory of it causes my eyes to tear up and my lips to curl into a smile.

The practice of welcoming others into relationship with God.  There may be no grater gift we have to offer Him. 

Whom might you be more intentional about including in your prayer life? 

Whom have you told lately about your love for Him?

We’d love to hear from you! What your thoughts, comments, questions?

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