Now Is The Time: Acts Youth Journey

Devotional

IT’S A RELATIONSHIP NOT RELIGION!



PRAY:

God, I want to have a healthy relationship with you, one that is based on love, obedience, and reverence.



READ:

Acts 15.1-41



As the Word of God was preached, many Gentiles accepted the message of Jesus and were filled with the Holy Spirit. But as is often found in life, not everybody is happy that somebody from outside joined the group. Some Jews who were stuck in tradition, implied that Gentiles could not really be part of the Church unless they were circumcised. This caused a big rift. It was so bad that they had to call a special meeting to iron things out.



In his speech to the group, the apostle Peter points out that God had allowed him and Barnabas to work many miracles among the Gentiles. He also said that by giving the Gentiles the gift of the Holy Spirit, God had shown that he did not play favorites, but he was accepting the Gentiles on the basis of their faith in his Son, Jesus. God wanted a relationship with his people. Peter stated his case saying, “God treated them in the same way he treated us. They put their faith in him, and he made their hearts pure. Now why are you trying to make God angry by placing a heavy burden on these followers?” (vv 9, 10a).



This explanation pacified the group and they began to understand that God is all-knowing, all-powerful, and all-seeing. God is perfect and everything he does fulfills his purposes.



REFLECT:


Have you ever felt threatened when someone you think was below your standing joined your group? Do you sometimes put up barriers to keep others from being part of your in-crowd?



RESPOND:


Talk to God so he can help you relate to someone who feels like an outsider. Ask God to help you guide that person closer to him.



Father, help me to stay away from all those things that would come between my relationship with you.