Sunday, November 17, 2013

Moving on!

That God loves us where we are at is as true as the statement, "God loves us too much to leave us where we are at!"  Isn't it exciting that the Christian life is one of continual growth?  Cornelius and Peter instructed me on that this morning...and how to deal with the conflict (within and without) that comes with change.  Do you remember that one of the accusations shot at Stephen involved bringing change?  Comfortable, casual Christianity is not what we see in Christ or the early Church:  don't settle for it in your life either!

Cornelius, by all reports, was a man who sought God.  'All reports' matter.  Our lives are a testimony.  At any rate, God saw and heard the life of Cornelius and wanted to draw him closer.  He spoke, Cornelius obeyed.  A good distance away, Peter was seeking God also...and about to receive a revelation that shook the status quo.  I love Peter's summary of his message from God:

"What God has cleansed you must not call common."
What we have established as the structures for a relationship with God must be submitted to the Spirit and the Word.  This is not an 'everything goes' message.  Peter went on to clarify that God accepts those who fear (revere) Him--which would mean obey His Word; those who work righteousness (and God determines right and wrong); and those who believe in Jesus Christ who forgives sins!  But leaves a whole lot of room for pursuing God as individuals.  We must take care to accept what God has cleansed as holy!
When Peter did that, it created a bit of disturbance back in Jerusalem.  But we have some great insights into conflict resolution by reading that passage.  The church leaders stated their complaint and then they listened courteously!  Peter communicated clearly and completely everything that had transpired.  There is power in clear, complete communication and courteous listening.  May we all seek God and give Him room to work in our lives and others.


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