Bible Reading Day 184
Day 184: July 3 (Acts 10:24-48)
In case you hadn’t noticed – yesterday marked our half-way point. You are now more than half way through the year!
Just as that is a turning point for us, so today’s reading marks a turning point in the history of God’s relationship with mankind. Up to this point God’s chosen people have been the Jews, but the crucifixion and resurrection have changed all that. God’s plan has always been to redeem all mankind from sin, but the path to that redemption came through the Jews. Now the redemption has been achieved by Jesus’ death and resurrection, and it is vital that the Jewish believers not remain alone in their new relationship with God; they are the first members of a worldwide family that God intends will include ALL humanity.
If you have ever looked around a church meeting and noticed someone who does not appear to fit in, you will have tasted a little of what Peter is going through in today’s reading. After years of careful upbringing that taught him to never associate with the despised and reviled Gentiles, he has now been corrected by God and told that no-one is unclean to God! There are no rejects, no misfits, no outsiders from God’s perspective!
Peter begins to explain this radical change to Cornelius and his household, outlining the transformation that Jesus has brought to the way mankind relates to God. While Peter is still speaking, the Holy Spirit falls on the Gentiles in the same way as He fell on the group of Jewish disciples gathered in the Upper Room. At this point the Jewish believers finally grasp what God is doing: if the Holy Spirit will transform these Gentiles in the same way He transformed the apostles, then the family of God is now open to ALL, and there is nothing to stop them also being baptized.
So here is the beginning of a church from all nations, a promise fulfilled and a fitting response to the universal sacrifice of Jesus on the cross. What a turning point!
Why not reflect on turning points in your own life today? How did God bring you to a place where your expectations could be changed? Was the change sudden or gradual? In what ways does God want to turn your life’s direction now? How can you co-operate with Him?
Have a great day!