Daily Devotion - January 28, 2021 - Divine Direction

Pastor: Connie Belmore

Daily Devotion – January 28, 2021
Reading:
Acts 10:1-43
Weekly Theme: The Authority of God’s Word
Today: Divine Direction

The word authority has almost become a negative word in our culture. Almost every day, the rejection of authority is evident as we tune in to the news. There are times when earthly authority may need to be questioned but to do so with malice and hatred is counter-productive. Peaceful conversations are much more fruitful than angry exchanges. I am thankful for those who have been and currently are appointed over me and have been given authority to lead, guide and direct me as I carry out my responsibilities. While the word “authority” may make some people cringe, it is a necessary part of our lives to ensure that order is maintained, chaos is avoided, and peace is experienced. Perhaps the words “divine direction” may be better received by those who are averse to the word “authority”.

In today’s passage, Simon Peter received a visit from God in a vision. He saw a sheet with unclean animals come down from heaven and heard a voice say, “Get up, Peter, go, kill, and eat”. Peter promptly responds, “No, Lord!  For I have never eaten anything impure!” The voice replies in what seems to be a calm and non-reactive manner, “What God has made clean, do not call impure”. This dream occurred three times... perhaps Peter needed to hear it three times. Meanwhile, Cornelius, a centurion of the Italian regiment, also has a vision in which he is told to send his people to invite Peter to explain everything about Jesus to them. God sent the angel to Cornelius because he was ready... he had been praying and doing many acts of charity and was ready to hear more about Jesus. Peter visited Cornelius, his relatives and his friends, and shared with them the great news that God does not show favoritism. The gospel of Jesus Christ is to be shared with all people. Peter then tells them the story of Jesus’ life on earth to include his baptism, his good and healing acts, his death through crucifixion, his resurrection on the third day, and this was all seen by God-appointed witnesses so that it might be proclaimed. All  events in this passage came about through divine direction so that everyone might believe in Jesus and receive forgiveness. Both Peter and Cornelius responded to God’s divine direction which resulted in all who heard Peter’s testimony declaring God's greatness as the Holy Spirit was poured out on them.

God has authority over all the earth. He has given Jesus authority to intercede on our behalf and to judge our actions. We may not like the authoritative nature of humans but when God is in control divine events occur. God has all authority to change his mind to further the kingdom. In this story, he changes an Old Testament law which says that eating impure meat is a sin and thus, convicts his servant Peter to share the gospel with those who eat meat. Like Peter, we also need to be in constant prayer and wait as God divinely directs us to others through prayer, Scripture, and yes, even visions.

Dear God, thank you for the ways you speak to us through your Word, and through dreams, visions, and other people. Help us to seek you in all aspects of life and bear witness to your faithfulness and your divine authority which always ultimately brings about that which is good in a world that is in desperate need of true hope found in Jesus Christ. Help us to listen, watch, and respond to it so that we might help further Your kingdom. Amen.

 
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