"Therefore I want you to know that God's salvation has been sent to the Gentiles, and they will listen!" After he said this, the Jews left, arguing vigorously among themselves.
Thoughts for Today:We've been going through a bit of a spring cleaning in my household recently. A conversation I hear regularly between my wife Sherry and my daughter Amanda goes something like this:
Sherry: "You haven't played with this for months -- I think it's time we give this to someone who will."
Amanda: "But Mommy, that's my favorite _________ (fill in the blank -- stuffed animal, game, toy, etc)."
Sherry: "This shirt is too small for you."
Amanda: "But Mommy, I still can use it as a night shirt -- right?"
It can be so hard to pry our old stuff out of our hands -- unless we've got something new and better to replace it.
I'm sure the Jews from our passage today were a little like Amanda. They felt really comfortable with the way things were and had little motivation to change. They liked what they had -- being a Jew was more than following God, it was a lifestyle, a cultural identity -- one they didn't want to lose or share with anyone. However, just like Sherry and Amanda's spring cleaning discussion, the focus shouldn't have been as much on what was being given up as the room being created for something new. God's plan for salvation had been delivered in the person of His Son Jesus, but many of the Jews were leaving this amazing gift still wrapped at the front door because they didn't want to give up their old ways.
Questions to Ponder:I really love being around new Christians. Their enthusiasm and joy is unsurpassed. Knowing that God came to live for us, to sacrifice His life for us, and that our sin is forgiven is really Good News! For those of us who have been Christians for a long time, being with them is a great place to be. It helps us to keep things in the proper perspective. I don't ever want to be like the Jews from our passage today, more caught up in the trappings of Christianity and the lifestyle than the new creation I've become and continue to become in Christ Jesus. What about you? Have you lost a little of your old vigor for the Lord? What has changed? Is it time to do a little spring cleaning on some old thoughts and ideas? How much time are you spending in the Word? When I was a new Christian I read the Bible every chance I had. Whenever I feel my enthusiasm waning a bit, I always go back to the Word. It always reignites my fire for the Lord. Are you in need of a little renewal, inspiration or motivation? It's simple -- just read the Word.