Thursday, September 15 – Acts 10:44-48
While Peter was still speaking these words, the Holy Spirit fell upon all those who were listening to the message. All the Jewish believers who came with Peter were amazed, because the gift of the Holy Spirit had also been poured out on the Gentiles. For they were hearing them speaking with tongues and exalting God. Then Peter responded, “Surely no one can refuse the water for these to be baptized, who have received the Holy Spirit just as we did, can he?” And he ordered them to be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ. Then they asked him to stay on for a few days.
As Peter spoke, something amazing happened—the people began to put their faith in Jesus. People were being changed by the Holy Spirit and all without going through Jewish rituals to get there. They came to faith, and they were transformed by God. When we think about sharing our faith with someone, we can be tempted to make sure they check all the boxes along the way. Before being changed by Jesus, we may expect them to understand some basic things and live a certain way. In this passage today, we are reminded that God broke down the barriers of ritual, tradition, and nationality so that beginning to follow Christ would be as simple as repenting and putting faith in Him.
When the Gentiles began exalting God and exhibiting spiritual gifts, there was no denying that God was at work in transforming them. They were true followers of Christ without having to become Jews first. When God gives us the opportunity to minister to people who are not followers of Jesus, we often forget that it is a process of being changed. Sometimes there are religious expectations we put on people before they are changed by Jesus. Do not build a barrier where God has torn one down. God is not waiting for people to check a list of boxes before they are saved; He works through every opportunity you take to share the gospel and show His redemptive love. And He has promised that all who belong to Him will be transformed, and there will be no denying His presence in their life.
- When was a recent time you shared your faith with someone else? What was that like?
- What are some barriers you have built between you and others? What needs to change?
- Pray and repent for the times you have built a barrier where God has torn one down.