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April 28 – Far-reaching love

“And he said to them, ‘You yourselves know how unlawful it is for a Jew to associate with or to visit anyone of another nation, but God has shown me that I should not call any person common or unclean.’” – Acts 10:28

Scripture reading: Acts 10:24-33 

This is a huge moment in Peter’s life and ministry. We know Peter loved Jesus and was really committed to following Jesus, even if it meant Peter’s own death, but now Jesus is sending Peter to also bring the gospel to Gentiles, the non-Jews. In doing so, Peter would be extending an arm of fellowship to Gentiles, calling them to join in the family of those adopted into Christ.

This was something a self-respecting Jew would never do. But God’s love and grace is greater than we think. Jesus came to Peter, an unworthy sinner, not because Peter was a Jew or was worthy, but because of God’s promises and mercy. Now that mercy goes out to the Gentiles. Peter swallows his Jewish pride, again humbles himself, and goes to the Gentiles with love and obedience to God.

In what ways do you treat the love of God as something small or something that you cannot share? Do you turn up your nose and refuse to talk to those who are outside your church? We, like Peter, are called to join the ministry of Jesus Christ. This is often messy work and people, even from within the church, will criticize it. We are not all called to be evangelists in the way Peter was, but I pray that your devotion to God brings you to live a life that holds firm to Christ and all God’s truth, while in obedience extending God’s love and grace to the world.

Suggestions for prayer

Ask God to forgive you for treating His love as something small. Ask God to guide you to live in a way that shares God’s love with others.

Rev. Simon Lievaart is a pastor for Bethel United Reformed Church of Smithers BC. He and his wife Jodi have four children. This daily devotional is available in a print edition you can buy at Nearer to God Devotional.

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