260 Devotional, June 4, Acts 15

But some men came down from Judea and were teaching the brothers, “Unless you are circumcised according to the custom of Moses, you cannot be saved.”And after Paul and Barnabas had no small dissension and debate with them, Paul and Barnabas and some of the others were appointed to go up to Jerusalem to the apostles and the elders about this question. So, being sent on their way by the church, they passed through both Phoenicia and Samaria, describing in detail the conversion of the Gentiles, and brought great joy to all the brothers.When they came to Jerusalem, they were welcomed by the church and the apostles and the elders, and they declared all that God had done with them. But some believers who belonged to the party of the Pharisees rose up and said, “It is necessary to circumcise them and to order them to keep the law of Moses.”

The apostles and the elders were gathered together to consider this matter. 7After much discussion, Peter got up and addressed them: "Brothers, you know that some time ago God made a choice among you that the Gentiles might hear from my lips the message of the gospel and believe. 8God, who knows the heart, showed that he accepted them by giving the Holy Spirit to them, just as he did to us. 9He made no distinction between us and them, for he purified their hearts by faith. 10Now then, why do you try to test God by putting on the necks of the disciples a yoke that neither we nor our fathers have been able to bear? 11No! We believe it is through the grace of our Lord Jesus that we are saved, just as they are."  12The whole assembly became silent as they listened to Barnabas and Paul telling about the miraculous signs and wonders God had done among the Gentiles through them. 13When they finished, James spoke up: "Brothers, listen to me. 14Simon has described to us how God at first showed his concern by taking from the Gentiles a people for himself. 15The words of the prophets are in agreement with this, ……

19 Therefore my judgment is that we should not trouble those of the Gentiles who turn to God, 20 but should write to them to abstain from the things polluted by idols, and from sexual immorality, and from what has been strangled, and from blood. 21 For from ancient generations Moses has had in every city those who proclaim him, for he is read every Sabbath in the synagogues.”

 

Meditation

  1. The Jerusalem council is a good model of handling conflicts within a church: to face the problem, listen to all sides, try to show no partiality, appoint spiritually mature leaders to lead the discussion, to make wise decision, and when the decision is made that the community will obey.
  2. In your church’s history, has there been any problem or conflict?  How was it handled?  Compare it with the Jerusalem Council, what can you learn from them?
  3. Is there any problem in your cell?  What should you do or how to handle it?

 

 

Family Time (Begin this time by reading the passage above using a children’s Bible.)

What is the meaning of GRACE?  Give some examples in your daily life that would explain what grace is.  Then, explain v11 “We believe it is through the grace of our Lord Jesus that we are saved”.   Are you saved?  Help anyone who is not sure of his/her salvation.

If anyone makes the decision today, write it in the Family Devotional Journal.

 

Prayer & Journaling:  On your prayer journal, as you listen to God, write down a few thoughts, questions, words, names, drawings, or anything that has come to your mind during this time.

 

Proverbs for Today 13:22-25

22 A good man leaves an inheritance to his children's children, but the sinner's wealth is laid up for the righteous.  23 The fallow ground of the poor would yield much food, but it is swept away through injustice.  24 Whoever spares the rod hates his son, but he who loves him is diligent to discipline him.  25 The righteous has enough to satisfy his appetite, but the belly of the wicked suffers want.

 

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