Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Praying for 30 days-day 19

This Christmas season I have been thinking about doing an advent activity with my little goober even if she is only 16 months (closer to 17 months) for the season. But since she is still a little young I thought of inviting my five year old neighbor whose family is not a Christian to join us. I am so excited to plant those seeds and see where God takes me this encounter.

But this morning with today's verse in Acts 11:18 it got me also thinking about other people who seem "less likely candidates" to spread this advent experience with. I will also include the first 17 verses.
"Now the apostles and brethren who were in Judea heard that the Gentiles had also received the word of God. And when Peter came up to Jerusalem, those of the circumcision contended with him, saying, “You went in to uncircumcised men and ate with them!”
But Peter explained it to them in order from the beginning, saying: “I was in the city of Joppa praying; and in a trance I saw a vision, an object descending like a great sheet, let down from heaven by four corners; and it came to me. When I observed it intently and considered, I saw four-footed animals of the earth, wild beasts, creeping things, and birds of the air. And I heard a voice saying to me, Rise, Peter; kill and eat.’ But I said, ‘Not so, Lord! For nothing common or unclean has at any time entered my mouth.’ But the voice answered me again from heaven, What God has cleansed you must not call common. 10 Now this was done three times, and all were drawn up again into heaven. 11 At that very moment, three men stood before the house where I was, having been sent to me from Caesarea. 12 Then the Spirit told me to go with them, doubting nothing. Moreover these six brethren accompanied me, and we entered the man’s house. 13 And he told us how he had seen an angel standing in his house, who said to him, ‘Send men to Joppa, and call for Simon whose surname is Peter, 14 who will tell you words by which you and all your household will be saved.’ 15 And as I began to speak, the Holy Spirit fell upon them, as upon us at the beginning. 16 Then I remembered the word of the Lord, how He said, John indeed baptized with water, but you shall be baptized with the Holy Spirit. 17 If therefore God gave them the same gift as He gave us when we believed on the Lord Jesus Christ, who was I that I could withstand God?”
18 When they heard these things they became silent; and they glorified God, saying, “Then God has also granted to the Gentiles repentance to life.”

Some of those candidates might be those people who seem a little rough around the edges and rub you the wrong way. Or maybe it is a person who seems so trouble. Or maybe a person in line at the store who is grumpy and bites the cashier's head off. Those type of people make me feel uncomfortable to reach. Maybe it is someone who you don't think deserves to have a chance because they don't seem to get it. Those are the exact people we need to be praying for to have true repentance to turn away from their sin and hurt in their lives. It is easy to want to spread the Christmas joy with my neighbors but these people are just a little hard sadly for me.

But the key is saying yes to God no matter who the person is. That's what Peter did with the gentile he visited. He said yes to God even though it did not seem right at the time. Even the other disciples reacted in shock before Peter told his story. But when they realized that he said yes to God, they said yes too and it changed their hearts. Maybe the key is simply just saying yes and allowing God to do the rest.

Holy God, I pray that You will grant genuine repentance to ________, a repentance that causes _______ to hate sin and to turn from it.

1 comment :

  1. Thank you for this encouragement to follow the heart of Jesus, to sit among and love those we struggle to love, believing in God's power to open their hearts, just as He has opened ours.


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