“And a voice came to him, ‘Rise, Peter; kill and eat.’ But Peter said, ‘Not so, Lord! For I have never eaten anything common or unclean.’ And a voice spoke to him again the second time, ‘What God has cleansed you must not call common.'” – Acts 10:13-15 (NKJV)
I work at a pretty eclectic place, and by that I mean there are many different people from many different backgrounds. One of the blessings I receive from this is in what I do for my employer. Being a guy who works on all kinds of machines takes me into different departments and I get the privilege of conversing with the many different people from the many different backgrounds. They all have a different way of expression and within that expression comes a form of belief in what they’re saying. One of the unfortunate things I hear, at times, is a prejudice tone. It’s not in everyone I speak with, but I do hear it throughout my day. I try not to shake my head as I walk away but that’s getting harder to do these days.
One of these departments I visit was getting a new piece of equipment and it was being installed by yours truly, so I decided to have a little fun with it. As I was guiding the pallet jack with the new “Saw Stop” on it, I began a little “Ho-Ho-Ho” chant. There were smiles along the way but then I heard, “I don’t believe in Santa Claus” to which I replied, “Neither do I, Santa is a communist.” Now that may not go over too well in other groups, but I knew my audience in this case. A conversation quickly ensued about the Gospel and how we all seem to have a slanted view on Christmas. Even though that tone I told you about earlier came through the voice of others, I stayed the course, none the matter that I have been told to stay clear of these “kinda people.” However, I got to thinking about Peter as I walked away…yeah, trying NOT to shake my head.
Ya see, Peter was given clear instruction from Jesus to take the Gospel outside of the Jewish world. I mean, he does a great job of preaching to his own people, “Save yourselves from this crooked generation,” he tells them and 3,000 are saved (you can read about that in Acts 2:14-41) but when it came to those Gentiles…those Romans…well, let’s just say that tradition told him to steer clear from those “kinda people.” But as patient as our God is, Peter was gonna need a little help getting past this obstacle. So, while he was dozin’ off, El Elyon sent him a message. Since his last thought might have been on lunch, God sent Peter a picnic. Everything that a Jew would have considered “unclean” to eat.
So, in familiar fashion, Peter denies the offer three times but the message was sent none the less, and then there was a knock at the door at the place where he was staying and “as Peter was puzzling over the vision, the Holy Spirit said to him, ‘Three men have come looking for you. Get up, go downstairs, and go with them without hesitation. Don’t worry, for I have sent them’” (Acts 10:19-20). And in obedience, Peter goes with the men to another man who was given clear instruction on what he was to do, a Roman officer named Cornelius. He tells Peter about his encounter with an angel to which “Peter replied, ‘I see very clearly that God shows no favoritism. In every nation He accepts those who fear Him and do what is right’ (Acts 10:34-35) and the conversion of the Gentile world began.
So many of us are in danger of missing out on being used by God to do bigger things then we can imagine. Peter was also in danger of the same thing. When we consider those “kinda people” that God sends our way as unclean we miss out on being part of the bigger picture. We could possess a powerful anointing like Peter did, but when we allow those traditional barriers to get in the way we rob folks of the same spiritual morsels that fed us and brought us into the salvation that is found Jesus Christ and His Gospel message. So, whether you’re delivering a new “Saw Stop” to your co-workers or being told to meet someone at the door, always see it as a chance to share a little Gospel with someone. Never know what blessing could come from your obedience. Amen?
Written by Chris Hughes: Chris, a graduate of The Colony of Mercy (11-2003) is married (Kathy) with two adult children (Kevin and Karen) and has been a Freedom Fighter contributor since 2008.
Daily Quote: “Even as Peter had ethnic and cultural barriers that kept him from reaching out to the Gentiles, all of us have barriers in our own lives. Whether it is national pride, religious perspectives, or the values we are raised with, all of us will need God’s adjustment so we can see all people through His eyes.” — Jeff Frankenstein
This Week’s Verse to Memorize:
saying: “Amen! Blessing and glory and wisdom, Thanksgiving and honor and power and might, Be to our God forever and ever. Amen.”