Thursday, November 3, 2011
Rules or Relationship
While keeping these rules would have put me in better standing with the members of the church, but they did nothing for my relationship with Christ.
The Jews had a lot of rules too. One of those rules said that it was against the law for a Jew to enter the home of a Gentile.
God had plans for Peter. Through a vision, God prepared Peter's heart to go visit the home of Cornelius, a Roman army officer. Peter began to share the Gospel with Cornelius and his family, and even as Peter was saying these things, the Holy Spirit fell upon all who were listening to the message. (Acts 10:44) All these people, these Gentiles, believed in Jesus Christ and were baptized that very day.
Soon the news reached the apostles and other believers in Judea that the Gentiles had received the word of God. But when Peter arrived back in Jerusalem, the Jewish believers criticized him. “You entered the home of Gentiles and even ate with them!” they said. Acts 11:1-3
The believers in Jerusalem had just heard that the Gentiles had received the gift of salvation, but all they could focus on were the rules that had been broken.
How do you react when someone comes to your church and breaks the rules?
A visitor comes to your service, but isn't dressed in the proper clothes, their hair is too long, and they are covered in tattoos. Are they welcomed in or shunned for breaking the rules?
The worship leader plays songs that aren't out of the hymnal; the songs are too loud and too fast. The worship service goes long and the pastor preaches past noon. Are these frowned upon and fetter for gossip during the week?
After Peter explained that God gave Cornelius and his family the gift of salvation, the believers in Jerusalem stopped objecting and began praising God. They understood that God was more concerned about relationships than rules.
Are you keeping rules or seeking relationship?
Just something to think about.
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