Great Plains Daily Devotional for 5/25/2020

Today please be in prayer for

Nancy Tomlinson
District Superintendent
Blue River District
Elkhorn Valley District
Stacey Stratton
Administrative Assistant
Blue River District
Jeff Mildren
Bryan Medical Center
Blue River District
Eduardo Bousson
Campus Minister, Nebraska Wesleyan University
Blue River District

Today's Lectionary Text

Acts 11:1-18

Read slowly and prayerfully.  What words or phrases stand out for you?

Now the apostles and the believers who were in Judea heard that the Gentiles had also accepted the word of God. So when Peter went up to Jerusalem, the circumcised believers criticized him, saying, “Why did you go to uncircumcised men and eat with them?” Then Peter began to explain it to them, step by step, saying, “I was in the city of Joppa praying, and in a trance I saw a vision. There was something like a large sheet coming down from heaven, being lowered by its four corners; and it came close to me. As I looked at it closely I saw four-footed animals, beasts of prey, reptiles, and birds of the air. I also heard a voice saying to me, ‘Get up, Peter; kill and eat.’ But I replied, ‘By no means, Lord; for nothing profane or unclean has ever entered my mouth.’ But a second time the voice answered from heaven, ‘What God has made clean, you must not call profane.’ This happened three times; then everything was pulled up again to heaven. At that very moment three men, sent to me from Caesarea, arrived at the house where we were. The Spirit told me to go with them and not to make a distinction between them and us. These six brothers also accompanied me, and we entered the man’s house. He told us how he had seen the angel standing in his house and saying, ‘Send to Joppa and bring Simon, who is called Peter; he will give you a message by which you and your entire household will be saved.’ And as I began to speak, the Holy Spirit fell upon them just as it had upon us at the beginning. And I remembered the word of the Lord, how he had said, ‘John baptized with water, but you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit.’ If then God gave them the same gift that he gave us when we believed in the Lord Jesus Christ, who was I that I could hinder God?” When they heard this, they were silenced. And they praised God, saying, “Then God has given even to the Gentiles the repentance that leads to life.”

Today's Devotional

Today I am totally focused on verse 18.  I am thinking about what was happening during the silence.  Peter delivered his message, which God gave them—the same gift that he gave us when we believed the Lord Jesus Christ.
 
What was going on in the minds and hearts of the crowd listening to Peter?  Did they become concerned that they were no longer in control?  Did they being to think of ways to teach these new folks how to act, now that they are a part of us?  Were there some who had feelings of resentment because new people, different people, might not appreciate all the hard work and sacrifice that had been made thus far?

We don’t know how long the silence lasted on that day. Something pretty powerful must have been going on.  People were being told that the movement was taking a different turn.  That new and different people would be included in this new reign of God.  The reaction out of the silence was not that of fear, but of praise.  The people praised God with a new appreciation for the power of God’s Holy Spirit to bring salvation to all.
 
I pray that out of the silent moments of reflection from our shared study we, too, would respond with praise for all that is being made new.          
 
- Linda Caldwell

Prayer for Reflection

Eternal God, we pray for congregations and gatherings of Christians everywhere, that all will be filled with the Holy Spirit, “catch fire” and contribute to the movement of God’s mission in the world.  Amen.
 
“Excerpted from the book “Catch Fire in 50 Days: Joining the Movement of God’s Mission in the World” by Blake Busick and Christie Latona.”
 

 

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