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What Would Jesus Do?

By Carolyn Freeman
 
Saturday, March 6, 2010

Scripture Verses
Acts 11:1-18

The apostles and the brothers throughout Judea heard that the Gentiles also had received the word of God. 2So when Peter went up to Jerusalem, the circumcised believers criticized him 3and said, “You went into the house of uncircumcised men and ate with them.”

4Peter began and explained everything to them precisely as it had happened; 5”I was in the city of Joppa praying, and in a trance I saw a vision.  I saw something like a large sheet being let down from heaven by its four corners, and it came down to where I was.  6I looked into it and saw four-footed animals of the earth, wild beasts, reptiles, and birds of the air.  7Then I heard a voice telling me, “Get up, Peter.  Kill and eat.’

8”I replied, ‘Surely not, Lord!  Nothing impure or unclean has ever entered my mouth.’

9”The voice spoke from heaven a second time, ‘Do not call anything impure or unclean that God has made clean.  10This happened three times, and then it was all pulled up to heaven again.

11”Right then three men who had been sent to me from Caesarea stopped at the house where I was staying.  12The Spirit told me to have no hesitation about going with them.  These six brothers also went with me, and we entered the man’s house.  13He told us how he had seen an angel appear in his house and say, ‘Send to Joppa for Simon who is called Peter.  14He will bring you a message through which you and all your household will be saved.

15”As I began to speak, the Holy Spirit came on them as he had come on us at the beginning.  16Then I remembered what the Lord had said:’John baptized with water, but you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit.’  17So if God gave them the same gift as he gave us, who believed in the Lord Jesus Christ, who was I to think that I could oppose God?”

18When they heard this, they had no further objections and praised God, saying,” So then, God has granted even the Gentiles repentance unto life.”


Devotion
Peter’s actions had been questioned by some of the believers, those who might be considered authorities on Christianity and Judaism.  Peter stood his ground by relating to them that his message had come from God.  He then went and embraced this family and welcomed them into the Christian family.  They would not have been the first choice of most of Peter’s questioners.

How many times do we think we “know the rules” and become judgmental, only to find out that we don’t know as much as we think we do?  How many times do we exclude others because they don’t meet the criteria that we think they should?   When we get these feelings and attitudes, we need to step back and ask ourselves one simple question:  “What would Jesus do?”   We also need to remember that he loves us and died for us in spite of our sins and baggage.  And he has a home picked out for us in heaven. 

WWJD was popular a few years ago.  We may want to become a little “retro” and consider this again. 

Prayer
Dear Father,
Please let us remember that all are your children, both those who we feel are the “lovable”ones and the “unloveable” ones.  Help us to include them in our community by showing them unequivocal love and acceptance as you have done for us. 
In Jesus’ name,  Amen