Thursday, April 10, 2014

Preparing for Easter ~ Place of Inclusion

[Lord, You have been our dwelling place in all generations…from everlasting to everlasting  Psalm 90:1-2  
During this season of reflection and renewal, join me, and let's explore God’s Presence, our dwelling place.  Are you dwelling in the presence of God? ~ Donna Howell Oswalt]

 “As I began to speak, the Holy Spirit came on them as He had come on us at the beginning. Then I remembered what the Lord had said: ‘John baptized with water, but you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit.’ So if God gave them the same gift He gave us who believed in the Lord Jesus Christ, who was I to think that I could stand in God’s way?”
Acts 11:15-17

Messengers from Caesarea sent by Cornelius, a Roman officer and faithful man, visit Peter in Joppa asking that he come and share the Good News with the Gentiles. Peter breaks Jewish rules by entering the house of a non-Jew, but the Holy Spirit approves. Those present believe and are baptized. Upon Peter’s return to Jerusalem, some criticize him, but after discussion, they realize, “God has also given the Gentiles the privilege of turning from sin and receiving eternal life.”

Caesarea, the largest port city on the Mediterranean Sea, becomes the location of the first Gentile Christians and later the first non-Jewish church. Peter’s obedience to God marks the beginning of God’s plan to redeem Gentiles. God desires that all people come to know Christ. Spirit of Grace, open my heart to the prejudices that constrain my influence for Christ, melt the barriers that cultural experiences create between me and those God chooses, direct my steps toward the ones who need to hear the Good News. Count me alive in Christ. Holy Spirit, fill me with a spirit of inclusion. - dho 

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Copyright 2014 by Donna Oswalt/Co-Founder of Mangrove Ministries/Christian blogger and author
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“May you be blessed by the Lord Who loves you best!”