May 23, 2022

Acts 15:5-19 NIV 

Then some of the believers who belonged to the party of the Pharisees stood up and said, “The Gentiles must be circumcised and required to keep the law of Moses.”
The apostles and elders met to consider this question. After 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. God, who knows the heart, showed that he accepted them by giving the Holy Spirit to them, just as he did to us. He did not discriminate between us and them, for he purified their hearts by faith. Now then, why do you try to test God by putting on the necks of Gentiles a yoke that neither we nor our ancestors have been able to bear? No! We believe it is through the grace of our Lord Jesus that we are saved, just as they are.”The whole assembly became silent as they listened to Barnabas and Paul telling about the signs and wonders God had done among the Gentiles through them. When they finished, James spoke up. “Brothers,” he said, “listen to me. Simon has described to us how God first intervened to choose a people for his name from the Gentiles. The words of the prophets are in agreement with this, as it is written:
“‘After this I will return    
and rebuild David’s fallen tent.
Its ruins I will rebuild,    
and I will restore it,
that the rest of mankind may seek the Lord,    
even all the Gentiles who bear my name,
says the Lord, who does these things’—    
things known from long ago.
“It is my judgment, therefore, that we should not make it difficult for the Gentiles who are turning to God.

Prayer Prompt: When the early Church met to “conference together” it engaged in thoughtful discussion about how the Holy Spirit was working and what this meant for their mission everywhere to everywhere. They clearly communicated their decisions so the spread of the Gospel would not be hindered.  As North America gathers for General Conference, pray we do the same.

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