READING: Job 34-35, Acts 15:1-21
“We believe we are saved through the grace of the Lord Jesus in the same way they are.”
There is so much that takes place in the Jerusalem Council (Acts 15), where the early believers stood by the teaching that Gentiles were not required to become Jewish first in order to be believers. For example, among those speaking were Peter, Paul, Barnabas, and James – all significant leaders. Then, the early church leaders worked together to address the issue at hand. They did not decide haphazardly; instead, they spent time in “much debate” (Acts 15:7). In the end, they determined with Peter, “We believe we are saved through the grace of the Lord Jesus in the same way they are” (Acts 15:11). Salvation would come by grace.
I’m also gripped, though, by the text’s attention to what God had been doing among the Gentiles. On their way to Jerusalem, Paul and Barnabas “passed through both Phoenicia and Samaria, explaining in detail the conversion of the Gentiles, and they created great joy among all the brothers” (Acts 15:3). Peter spoke in Jerusalem about how God had used him to take the gospel to the Gentiles, and James affirmed it through quoting the prophets. Barnabas and Paul described “all the signs and wonders God had done through them among the Gentiles” (Acts 15:12), and the people were silenced as they did so. I love it when all we can do is sit quietly and reverently as we hear about God’s displaying His glory around us.
You see, there’s something powerful about our telling the stories of what God has done, and is doing, in our lives. We have so much we could tell, yet we too often keep those stories to ourselves. We don’t even share them with other believers, much less with non-believers. Somehow, we have grown accustomed to keeping to ourselves the miracles of God’s grace in our lives. When we do that, not only do we miss the blessing of speaking, but those around us also miss the blessing of hearing. Few people will see “great joy among the brothers” if we never praise God for His grace when we are among our church family.
- Make a list of what God has done for you this week.
- Praise Him by telling someone else what He has done.
PRAYER: “God, I praise You for Your power and grace. I commit myself to tell someone about You today.”
TOMORROW’S READING: Job 36-37, Acts 15:22-41