Explore the Bible Lesson for May 22: Accepting
May 5 2016 by Troy Rust, pastor, Florence Avenue Baptist Church, Oxford

Focal Passage: Acts 10:9-15, 43-48
 
I’ve raised and sold a lot of watermelons over the years. I’ve picked and culled them to decide their prices and destinations, and some melons haven’t made the cut. They simply didn’t look good to buyers, even though they looked and tasted the same as picturesque melons on the inside.
 
We tend to accept the people who meet our minimum requirements and reject everyone else, even though God sees the same need on the inside. 
 
God prepared Peter to share the gospel with Cornelius and his friends and close relatives (v. 24) by giving him a vision of something like a large sheet filled with all kinds of four-footed animals, crawling creatures and birds of the air being lowered from the sky to the ground.
God commanded him, saying, “Get up, Peter, kill and eat!” Peter, who had been a faithful Jew, replied, “By no means, Lord, for I have never eaten anything unholy and unclean.” God responded, “What God has cleansed, no longer consider unholy” (vv. 10-14).
 
God was not merely giving Peter a lesson on acceptable foods.
 
While the world teaches us to pick and choose people for the sake of personal advancement, the gospel calls us to witness to every person in every tribe, tongue, people and nation. Until we see the beauty of the image of God in all people, we won’t deem them worthy of our time and effort.
 
Although Peter had felt that way about the idolatrous and unclean Gentiles, God was going to show him the power of the gospel to break every barrier and save Cornelius and his friends and close relatives. Do you long to see God save people who seem beyond hope? We cannot pray for their salvation and refuse to witness to them. Either we will embrace our comfort and forsake the Great Commission, or we will trust God for our security in every situation and take the gospel where He leads us. May He prepare us to say, “By all means, Lord!”

5/5/2016 11:06:15 AM by Troy Rust, pastor, Florence Avenue Baptist Church, Oxford | with 0 comments
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