Below are my thoughts from the daily Bible reading of the West Side Church of Christ. Today’s reading comes from Acts 9 & 10. Before reading I invite you to pray and asked God to speak to you as you read his word. Also above in the tabs is a link to the Bible reading plan.
Have you ever worked on a project and no matter what you did you were not able to be successful? You kept working and working but nothing you did made you successful. Finally you just set the project down and walked away. Then amazingly when you came back and picked it up you completed the project successfully on the first try? I do not know how many times I have done this. I remember in college I was playing a video game. For days I worked to try and beat what turned out to be the final level. No matter what I did I was not successful. Finally I got frustrated and stopped playing the game for months. One day I decided to pick the game back up, went in and completed the mission on my first try.
Why do we do this? Sometimes it’s because we do not know any other way. Sometimes our skills just are not up to the task at hand. Other times our knowledge might not be as great. Sometimes we just are not ready to learn. Sometimes we need to step away, clear our minds, and approach the problem or task with fresh eyes. Many times it is new perspective (at least fresh perspective) that gives us the needed clarity to complete the project.
In our reading today we find Peter, one of the twelve, the man who had the privilege of delivering the first presentation of the gospel message (a message where three thousand people were baptized), and he needed a new perspective. Until chapter ten of Acts all Christians were Jews who accepted Christ. There were some exceptions … the Samaritans, but they were simply half bread Jews, and others who had fully converted to Judaism. Now for the first time God is ready to extend salvation to a full on Gentile.
So to prepare Peter, God works to give him a new perspective. He shows the vision of the white sheet and the unclean animals. He tells Peter to accept the messenger’s invitation. He pours out the Holy Spirit before baptism. He does all of this to bring about new perspective; this time a new inclusion of people into the Kingdom of God.
Is there a place in your heart where you could use a time away to draw a new perspective? Maybe it is clothing worn to church. Maybe it is a new heart for hurting people. Maybe it is a new look at your marriage. Maybe it is a renewed approach to your parenting. Maybe it is a fresh approach to worship. I do not know what your current perspective is, but I am confident there is an area that we can all improve ours in.