We read Acts 11:1-18 and talked about Peter explaining his actions. Peter changed his way of thinking, yet it wasn’t just his thinking that needed to be changed. Other Jewish believers needed a lesson, too. They needed to listen to Peter’s vision and its significance. The Jewish believers learned three things.
They learned that there is no favoritism with God. They had been accustomed to being the “chosen” nation, so that hearing of others being given the gift was unthinkable, especially Gentiles. Peter described the animals in the sheet and how a voice from heaven said, “Do not call anything impure that God has made clean.” Peter told Cornelius, “I now realize how true it is that God does not show favoritism but accepts men from every nation who fear Him and do what is right.” Whether you are born in Guatemala, the United States, or any other country in this world, you are accepted if you fear Him and do what is right.
They learned that the vision was revealed to Peter three times. For the Jewish people, this is significant. According to Jewish law, once something is done three times, it is considered a permanent thing. This wasn’t a one-time occurrence; this is for all. The Jewish believers said, “So then, God has granted even the Gentiles repentance unto life.” This is repentance for me, for you, for our families, friends and everyone who walks on this earth.
They learned that the Gentiles received the gift of the Holy Spirit. What gift did they receive? The gift of tongues. 1 Corinthians 12:7-11, “Now to each one the manifestation of the Spirit is given for the common good. To one there is given through the Spirit the message of wisdom, to another the message of knowledge by means of the same Spirit, to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healing by that one Spirit, to another miraculous powers, to another prophecy, to another distinguishing between spirits, to another speaking in different kinds of tongues, and to still another the interpretation of tongues.”
Paul changed, Peter changed, the Jewish believers changed and we have to change, as well. God changes us so He can use us to fulfill His purpose of salvation to the lost…to go and preach the gospel, to love the unloved, to heal the brokenhearted, to find the lost, to give hope to those without hope. We need to be the wick and burn for the Lord. To be a light in this world of darkness. We love because He first loved us.
The North Carolina team hosted a coffee and donut breakfast for the dorm parents and helpers. Of course, all our helpers were in school so they couldn’t participate. I hated it for them. A double blessing when they prayed over all of us. Thank You, Lord.
In the afternoon, I heard a knock on the door. One of the teachers came to inform me that two of our boys tried to cheat on a quiz. A deep sadness filled my heart because as a parent, we expect better from our children. After my conversation with the teacher, I had a conversation with our Lord. I had to humble myself because I can’t change the hearts of our boys, only He can. God’s word says, “Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that He may lift you up in due time. Cast all your anxiety on Him because He cares for you.” I needed to be refreshed. This is a spiritual battle that we are facing, not just in our dorm but also at Casa.
After dinner, I sat the boys down in the sala and read Proverbs 11:1-3, “The Lord abhors dishonest scales, but accurate weights are His delight. When pride comes, then comes disgrace, but with humility comes wisdom. The integrity of the upright guides them, but the unfaithful are destroyed by their duplicity.” I said to them, “The Lord does not like cheating. He loves it when you are honest and do what is right. When we cheat, it reveals our character. We are lazy and have no desire to work and do what is right. Cheating does not help you; it will only cause problems in the future. If you cheat and believe that it is ‘normal’ then when you get older you will struggle…here at Casa, outside of Casa, within your family and in your job. You need to learn good study habits so you will have success in life and in everything that you do. We need to humble ourselves, repent and do what is right in His eyes only. When we choose to change, we will be stronger, wiser and be a delight to the Lord. Yet, we cannot do it without the Lord. He is able.
Lee and Candy