Words from the Heart for Monday August 22nd, 2016
Then Peter began to speak: “I now realize how true it is that God does not show favoritism.”
Acts 10:34 (NIV)
God Does Not Show Favouritism
How do you treat people who are different than you? Are you prone to treat some people better than others because they are like you? God is gracious by extending His salvation to people from all walks of life – male and female, poor and rich, from every tribe, nation, and language. Shouldn’t we treat others with the same dignity and respect regardless of who they are?
We lived outside of Canada for 8 years before the internet was all that it is now. There were things that we missed from Canada that we would stock up when we drove home in the summers. It is much easier now for Canadians living abroad to obtain their favourite Canadian products. They just have to go to the website canadianfavourites.com (that’s favourite with a ‘U” – this is a Canadian website after all!) On the home page they have the list of the most popular products – the favourite of the favourites so to speak. What do you think might be on the list? At the top of the list are Christie’s Swiss Cheese Crackers, followed by Bick’s Garlic Pickles – in a one-liter jar. I’m not surprised that right near the top of the list is Kraft Peanut Butter. Only in Canada.
In so many ways each day we show favouritism. We naturally like to be with others who are just like us. It makes us feel comfortable. The way the world usually works is that we favour those who are like us and reject those who are not. But the Kingdom of God works differently. Acts 10:32 says “Then Peter began to speak: “I now realize how true it is that God does not show favoritism.” This was a turning point in the history of the church. In the earliest days the fellowship of followers of Jesus was made up of Jews who recognized Jesus as Messiah. God had to break the early church out of this way of thinking. So He does two things. He works in the life of a Gentile — a Roman soldier no less — named Cornelius. And He shows Peter, who was leading the Church in Jerusalem, a vision of a sheet coming down out of heaven filled with all the food that were forbidden in the Jewish law. It was a bit of a shock to Peter, the good Jew. He told the Lord that he had never eaten anything that was on that sheet. God’s point was that under the new covenant, sealed by the blood of Jesus, did not show favouritism. Men and women from every nation, tribe and tongue would be in His family. If this is God’s thinking it must be ours too.
These have been words from the heart.