MONDAY, NOVEMBER 8
Soon the news reached the apostles and other believers in Judea
that the Gentiles had received the word of God.
Acts 11:1 (NLT)
LIVING SENT: OUTSIDE MY COMFORT ZONE
The Israeli settlement of Netzarim in the heart of the Gaza Strip was a point of much conflict with militant Palestinians for several years. The conflict was so great that the settlement was evacuated. Those who lived in Netzarim did so at great personal risk because they felt it was an important part of keeping their land free. A school teacher, Shlomit Ziv, who lived in Netzarim said, “I don’t live where it’s comfortable; I live where it’s important to live.”
In Acts 11, the Apostle Peter had gone where it was important but it definitely wasn’t comfortable. The conflict between Jews and Gentiles has historically been one of the most hostile in the world. Peter was led out of his comfort zone and to the Gentiles in Caesarea by the Spirit of God. When Peter arrived, the Gentiles “received” the gospel. In this context the idea is that they were receptive to Peter’s message, receiving it with a favorable attitude. The picture here in Acts 11:1 is of one of the Gentiles “putting out the welcome mat” for God’s messenger and His word of truth, even as one would receive a good friend or guest, and inviting them into one’s house.
When we Live Sent, God may lead us out of our comfort zones. Overcoming prejudice is one of the main themes in Acts 10 and 1. As Christians, we bring many of our cultural, religious and personal prejudices of our unsaved life over into our saved life. What are some prejudices you may still have toward people not like you? How can your faith help reshape those prejudices? Do you feel God is calling you out of your comfort zone in any areas?
Praise God for loving all people everywhere. Thank God for giving you a part in reaching people who may not be like you but need to know about the grace of God.