Saturday, September 01, 2007

Acts 28:17-31

They screw their eyes shut
so they won't have to look,
so they won't have to deal with me face to face
and let me heal them.
(Acts 28:27, The Message)

In today’s reading, the Jews accepted Paul’s invitation to hear the story of Jesus. Although some of them were convinced, many were not and some disagreements occurred.

There are several things that strike me as I read the verses for today. The first is that God knew that His people were going to reject Him. Paul quotes Isaiah’s accusation for their ancestors. But God didn’t give up on them. He sent Paul and others to make sure they heard of this opportunity and had a chance to accept Jesus as their savior. If it had been me, I don’t think I would have continued to pursue this relationship and make myself vulnerable to repeated rejection.

The next thing is that many refused to hear this good news about Jesus. – they don’t perceive or understand. It’s not uncommon for us to refuse to hear or believe news of bad things – serious health issues, marital problems, problems at work or school. But sometimes it’s also difficult to face and believe great news – that we can be loved, healed, saved by coming into relationship with Jesus.

And, I am completely amazed that all I have to do is open up and allow myself to have a relationship with Jesus. This simple act (OK it’s not always that simple) reaps rewards that I can’t imagine. By opening my heart to meet Him where I am, he will heal the hurts inflicted by life in this world and bless me in wonderful ways.

Finally, is the statement that God planned to offer this great gift to the Gentiles - the ones not considered to be God's people. I am filled with gratefulness that God blesses me with the chance to be in a relationship with Him.

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