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Pastor's Column 6/4/2023

PASTOR’S COLUMN


“As I began to speak,” Peter continued, “the Holy Spirit fell on them, just as He fell on us at the beginning. Then I thought of the Lord’s words when He said, “John baptized with water, but you will He baptize with the Holy Spirit.” And since God gave these Gentiles the same gift He gave us when we believed in the Lord Jesus Christ, who was I to stand in God’s way?” When the others heard this, they stopped objecting and began praising God. They said, “We can see that God has also given the Gentiles the privilege of repenting of their sins and receiving eternal life.” Acts 11:15-18, NLT


God’s Greatness, Our Small Ways!


When we think of the very least God does, we are confronted with the reality that whatever we do, is pale in comparison to the enormity of God’s greatness. We humans could never duplicate or surpass God; but we can come to learn more about Him, and to adapt His attributes. Perhaps being made or created into the “Likeness” or “image” of God, is a way of saying we can become better than what we are. God has a divine expectation, it seems, that we strive to become more “like” Him. John said, “We are already God’s children, but he has not shown us what we will be like when Christ appears. But we do know we will be like Him…” (I John 3:2, NLT). Our Christian faith is replete with powerful exhortations about becoming more than what we are. Some years ago, I had lunch with a former president of a seminary while in Pasadena, California. We talked about life, change, and heritage. He said to me, “I can only be who I am through birth, heritage, nurture, and culture.” “But,” he said, “through God’s grace I can become more and better than what I am.” I’ve always appreciated his words, for they hold much truth. This is a lesson the Apostle Peter learned in the company of Gentiles in the town of Joppa. Peter’s bias and prejudices were erased, when he saw God work through the Gentiles. Peter said, “Who was I to stand in God’s way?” God is much too great, to condescend to our hollow prejudices.

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