Acts_15

Scripture

 
Acts 15:8-11
8 God, who knows the heart, showed that he accepted them by giving the Holy Spirit to them, just as he did to us. 9 He did not discriminate between us and them, for he purified their hearts by faith. 10 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? 11 No! We believe it is through the grace of our Lord Jesus that we are saved, just as they are.”

Observation

People were sharing “fake news”…well, at least old and outdated news.

People had come from Judea and Antioch saying “Unless you are circumcised, according to the custom taught by Moses, you cannot be saved” (verse 1). So the church sent Paul and Barnabas to share the truth. As they made their way, their message brought relief. When they came to Jerusalem, though, 5 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” (verse 5).

Understanding

Lots of good stuff packed in here!

God’s heart for us is love and a desire for relationship.

The message that was being shared – having to live by old testament law and being circumcised – was raising up anxiety in the people. And, Paul’s message explains why – it was “a yoke that neither [they] or their ancestors [had] been able to bear” (vs 10). This reveals God’s heart for us – love. He doesn’t want us living in this low level sense of anxiety focusing on the legalisms of an old law. He wants us to seek Him, love Him and have relationship with Him. And, yes, He wants perfection; but knowing we cannot sustain that, He loved us enough to create a way that we may still be saved and still experience Him.

The Holy Spirit’s presence marks God’s children.

Like PG shared yesterday, the Holy Spirit is not just for a select few…it’s for EVERYONE! That’s the gift of salvation. And, that gift, shows God’s acceptance of someone.

Furthermore, experiencing the Holy Spirit CHANGES us. It’s a marked change, we are not the same. Also, as PG said, it’s not a one and done thing; there’s regular infillings of God when we walk in obedience.

Life Application

Know and tell the truth!

People share “fake news” about God daily. Like Paul and Barnabas, we are called to share the truth, with God’s heart behind it…so without judgement and for the cause of turning their hearts to God.

Check your Holy Spirit action.

We need to be LIVING IN the Holy Spirit…it’s Holy Spirit experiences that transform lives and we are called to be conduits of that! [Quite an honor!] It requires that we seek God’s face, that we turn our ears and open our eyes to where God wants to use us and we obey when we hear that still small voice. And we need to be dissatisfied with camping on HS experiences of that past…instead, pressing in for more and living with expectancy to be used by Him DAILY.

God, I’m grateful that you call me yours. I’m grateful that we get to experience your Holy Spirit – and the joy, the fullness, the power that comes with it! Use me today. Show me who you want to impact, give me the words, increase my boldness in you…and may you be known and experienced by all those I encounter today.

In Jesus name, Amen.

Rei

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