Tuesday, October 19, 2010

God Doesn't Show Favoritism

Acts 10:34-35
Then Peter began to speak: “I now realize how true it is that God does not show favoritism but accepts men from every nation who fear him and do what is right.

The other day on “the View” Bill O’Reily categorically condemned all Muslims as terrorists and blamed them for the attacks on the World Trade Center. Whoopi Goldberg and Joy Behar stormed off the set in protest. Barbara Walters was upset with her colleagues for their unprofessional actions. She said, “We can disagree without being disrespectful. Joy and Whoopi are right to be upset but should have stayed on the couch and let Bill look ignorant on his own. Their outrage is understandable because this villinization of a group of people that is not monolithic has been the same kind of racist propaganda that has been used toward minorities and people of different faiths for years in America.

Sometimes conservative Christians feel they have the monopoly on God's favor and love, but God has used men and women of many faiths to inspire and change the world with people like Malcolm X (Muslim) who saw a connection between blacks, whites, Africans, and Asians toward the end of his life; Gandhi (Hindu) who inspired Dr. King with his non-violent protest, Dali Lama (Buddhist) and Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. (Christian). All of these people had one thing in common, they did what was right and feared God by standing up for the powerless.

God has to show Peter who has been raised a conservative Jew that he is to be inclusive with the love of God and sharing the gospel with people outside his comfort zone. Jews believed that it was not lawful for Jews to socialize with Gentiles but God sends Peter to sit on the couch with Cornelius, a Gentile.

The prayers and the good Cornelius had done for the poor had come up as a memorial offering to God. Cornelius was not a Jew or a Christian but his prayers and gifts to the poor came up to God as a memorial offering. Could it be that some non-Christians reach God before us? It’s not that we are more righteous but God wants us as Christians to finish the story of God’s redemptive work in the earth through his Son, Jesus Christ. Before we can share with our non-Christian friends until we must realize that we are not the only ones with God’s favor. The sooner we realize that we are all God’s children, the sooner we can help people to understand our View.

Here’s how we share our view:

1. Share the couch with people who don’t have the same view as you. Instead of being combative learn how to listen to other people even if you don’t agree with them. Agree to disagree without being disagreeable.

2. Let God lead you to people who are open to receive. Cornelius prayed to God and helped the poor. When people have a good heart they are open to truth.

3. Step out of your tradition to share with people who don’t necessarily see it like you do but they have a good heart. You may be the person to introduce them to Jesus Christ. If you are Christ-like then you will imitate Him by talking to everybody.

4. Realize that we can learn from each other.

Dear God, enlarge my viewpoint so that I can truly see that you’re not a respecter of person but that you love all of your children. Thank you God that you don’t show favoritism based on titles, denominations or world views but you accept all people from every nation who fear you and do what is right. Show me today who you want me to share my faith with on today. I’m ready to share my couch with the right people so we can head in the right direction.

In Jesus Name,

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