May 27, 2012

Acts 11:17 “So if God gave them the same gift as he gave us, who believed in the Lord Jesus Christ, who was I to think that I could oppose God?”

Sometimes God has to use pretty dramatic means to break through our prejudices, but He knows what it’s going to take. The whole world has benefited from the fact that Peter was more committed to Christ than he was to his prejudices. I will never forget being told by one of the deacons of the rural White church I once pastored, “Blacks may get into heaven, but they won’t do it through my living room.” He was quoting his father at the time, but he was expressing his own feelings. I wound up resigning that church over the race issue, but many years later I learned that deacon eventually became head of the local Rescue Squad, which was thoroughly interracial. God had gotten through to him! We tend to put so many things in the way of what God wants to do for and through us, and we ourselves are the ones who suffer most for it. There is no path of greater blessing than being totally yielded to God, serving Him faithfully in intimate fellowship. The better we understand that, the more we will see His glory.

This is something I have known for a long time, but it’s interesting how long it has taken me to really practice it. I still protest at times at things God wants me to do! I desire that every member of this church be a fully committed servant of God, so I’d better set the example. I have no room to feel superior to anyone, but I am not to draw back from teaching and admonishing, to build them up. (2 Corinthians 10:8) We are in this journey together, and I cannot wait for my own perfection before helping them along toward theirs. I tell people I really like the honesty of the Bible, because it records people’s failures as well as successes. God is the only one with a perfect track record, but He chooses to use us anyway. Just as He has instructed me to say in this morning’s message, I need to keep my focus on Christ so strongly that everything else will be insignificant.

Father, thank You for Your plans for today. Thank You for all You have been doing in me and in all the believers. Thank You that You are indeed transforming us into the likeness of Christ. (2 Corinthians 3:18) May we not draw back from any of it, but rejoice to be and do all that You intend, causing Your Name to be hallowed and Your kingdom come, as Your will is done. Thank You. Hallelujah!

About jgarrott

Born and raised in Japan of missionary parents. Have been here as an adult missionary since 1981.
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