Daily D – Acts 15:19
“And so my judgment is that we should not make it difficult for the Gentiles who are turning to God.” ACTS 15:19 (NLT)
We have a tendency to make just about everything harder than it has to be. For example, I plan to attend a worship service today inside a church building with other people for the first time in months. What shall I wear? My practice for the last few months has been to wear jeans (at best). My feet are often bare. Once or twice I haven’t even shaved before singing songs of praise and adoration.
Jeans, however, are probably not appropriate for gathering with a church family where I am not a member. Is a suit and tie too much? Are khakis too little? Would nice slacks, a dress shirt with an open collar, and a sport coat suffice? Do I wear my name tag or not?
See what I mean? Harder than it has to be.
A good article appeared on www.theladders.com. It is entitled, 8 ways you are making life harder than it has to be. Yes, the article title was written in all lower-case letters. Yes, I had to decide whether to follow their style or conventional methods of capitalizing the appropriate letters in the appropriate words. Yes, intellectually that was harder than it has to be.
It’s a good article. You can find others like it with a quick internet search. I am not naming that one company which is synonymous with internet searches. Yes, I am making it harder than it has to be to avoid that name. However, I do not care for some of their worldview and business practices, so I am well pleased to make it harder than it has to be.
One thing we should not make harder than it has to be is the simple act of receiving God’s gift of salvation. In this turning point chapter in Acts, the most important and influential leaders in the nascent Christian movement were gathered to ponder a significant issue. That issue was should they make salvation harder than it has to be? Some said Gentiles who became Christians had to follow Jewish laws that none of them had actually ever fully lived out with perfection.
How hard was it for Gentiles to experience God’s gift of salvation? Listen to Peter’s testimony in Acts 11:15: “As I began to speak,” Peter continued, “the Holy Spirit fell on them, just as he fell on us at the beginning.”
Now don’t miss this, Preachers. Before Peter could offer the invitation, and before the music minister led the congregation to sing Just As I Am, the Gentiles got saved. Crazy, right? Those people did not have to hear a long sermon. They did not need to have everything explained to them in great detail. They were not given a list of do’s and don’t’s. Their hearts were ready and God was even more ready. Peter’s involvement was minimal. It appears God wanted him to be there as a witness of what God did rather than traditional witnessing and causing what happened.
Salvation takes place when a person says Yes to God’s gracious offer. John Wesley, a name you know at least by reputation, talked about how his heart was strangely warmed when he received God’s gracious gift. How’s your heart?
You get the idea from reading Acts and the Gospels that God is more ready to give us his gift of salvation than we are to receive it. The transaction is all his idea. He is ready, willing, and able to take care of all the details right now. He has been working from eternity past looking forward to this moment now. While you read these words, before I place a period at the end of this sentence, you can know and experience your first taste of amazing grace.
Don’t make it harder than it has to be. Start the journey to where you really want to go.
While there are no magic words you need to say, you could express yourself like this: “Jesus, I receive your gift of eternal life. Thank you for dying for me and for forgiving my sin. Thank you for saving me now. Amen.”
Don’t make it harder than it has to be. Like any relationship, learn to enjoy what your Friend enjoys. Learn to see how he sees, to hear what he hears, to love who he loves.
Don’t make it harder than it has to be. Do make the rest of your life and forever beyond as beautiful as it can be. This is the moment every happy ending begins with.
I will not make salvation harder than it is.
Our Father, you prepared and executed the perfect plan to draw all people to yourself. Thank you for your open offer to know you and experience you. Thank you for the reality of the ultimate happy ending. Thank you for being more ready to save us than we are to be saved. Thank you for loving and saving me. Amen.
CONNECT WITH ME!
Interested in learning more about Church Unique or Life Younique? Send a note through the Get In Touch box or Message me through the Facebook link above.
GET IN TOUCH!
READ MY BLOG!
Deuteronomy 8:12-18 When you eat and are full, and build beautiful houses to live in, and your herds and flocks grow large, and your silver and gold multiply, and everything else you have increases, be careful that your heart doesn’t become proud and you forget the Lord your God who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the place of slavery. He led you through the great and terrible wilderness with its poisonous snakes and scorpions, a thirsty land where there was no water. He brought water out of the flint rock for you. He fed you in the wilderness with manna, which your ancestors had not known, in order to humble and test you, so that in the end he might cause you to prosper. You may say to yourself, ‘My power and my own ability have gained this wealth for me,’ but remember that the Lord your God gives you the power to gain wealth, in order to confirm his covenant he swore to your ancestors, as it is today.
Deuteronomy 6:4-9 “Listen, Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your strength. These words that I am giving you today are to be in your heart. Repeat them to your children. Talk about them when you sit in your house and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Bind them as a sign on your hand and let them be a symbol on your forehead. Write them on the doorposts of your house and on your city gates.“
Deuteronomy 1:2, 3 It is an eleven-day journey from Horeb to Kadesh-barnea by way of Mount Seir. In the fortieth year, in the eleventh month, on the first of the month, Moses told the Israelites everything the Lord had commanded him to say to them.