A devotional by Reg Awoliyi. A 5 day plan
looking at how we are ALL accepted by God.
34Then Peter opened his mouth and said: “In truth I perceive that God shows no partiality. 35 But in every nation, whoever fears Him and works righteousness is accepted by Him
The very notion that God shows no partiality, no favouritism, that He is unbiased when it comes to people experiencing His love blows me away. It means that regardless of your gender, ethnicity, class, status etc. you can be accepted by Jesus.
Day 1 // Accepted regardless of wealth
5 When Jesus reached the spot, he looked up and said to him, “Zacchaeus, come down immediately. I must stay at your house today.” 6 So he came down at once and welcomed him gladly.
Zacchaeus is a chief tax collector. Tax collectors collected money from the people to give to the government and were known to take more than what was even asked for in the first place, this made the profession lucrative for those who were in it. So here you have these people who have made their wealth off the backs of their own people which would further alienate them from the common working class. Zacchaeuswasn’t just a tax collector, he was a chief tax collector. The big boss, which means he had big boss money.
Money is not an indicator of whether you have everything sorted out on the inside, in fact, often it can mask the turmoil we have. Jesus wanted to be with Zacchaeus. It was meaningful because Jesus wasn’t bothered by how much was in his bank account but rather what the condition of Zacchaeus’ heart and soul was. Zacchaeuswas accepted by Jesus and as a result Zacchaeushad a change or heart and attitude.
Remember the time when Jesus commented about the widow with two mites (Mark 12:41-44). He noticed what was in her heart, she didn’t have a lot, but her heart was in the right place.
God accepts people regardless of their wealth.
Day 2 // Accepted regardless of gender
Mark 5: 33-34
33 Then the woman, knowing what had happened to her, came and fell at his feet and, trembling with fear, told him the whole truth. 34He said to her, “Daughter, your faith has healed you. Go in peace and be freed from your suffering.”
Jesus is not constrained to be only for men or only for women. Throughout His time on Earth, Jesus taught, healed and spoke to both men and women. In this passage Jesus is on His way to heal Jairus’ daughter who was very ill and close to death when someone in the crowd touched Him. He instantly felt power leave Him and wanted to know who it was. Eventually a woman comes forward and says it was her. What we must remember is that this woman was bleeding for twelve years and didn’t know why. She would have gone to all the doctors, paid an untold amount of money to stop her issue but nothing worked… until she found Jesus. I love the fact that Jesus stopped and validated the woman by speaking to her, she was accepted by Jesus. This shows us that you don’t have to be a particular gender to know that you can come close to God.
God accepts people regardless of their gender.
Day 3 // Accepted regardless of status
27 So he started out, and on his way he met an Ethiopian eunuch, an important official in charge of all the treasury of the Kandake (which means “queen of the Ethiopians”). This man had gone to Jerusalem to worship, 28 and on his way home was sitting in his chariot reading the Book of Isaiah the prophet. 29 The Spirit told Philip, “Go to that chariot and stay near it.” 30 Then Philip ran up to the chariot and heard the man reading Isaiah the prophet. “Do you understand what you are reading?” Philip asked. 31 “How can I,” he said, “unless someone explains it to me?” So, he invited Philip to come up and sit with him.
Whether you are deemed to be important or not by society is irrelevant when it comes to if you can or cannot have a relationship with God. The Ethiopian eunuch, who was an important person in his kingdom, was able to learn more about God because someone took the time to help him in his understanding. Philip didn’t see him for his job title, what he could provide for him, the spheres of influence that he wielded, the power that he had, he simply saw a man that wanted to know more and helped. Remember the time when Peter and John were going to the temple in Acts 3 (vs1-10) and they healed a man who, in society’s eyes, was in a low position? The grace and mercy of God is for everyone regardless of their status. We should never look down on someone due to a difference in class.
God accepts people regardless of their status.
Day 4 // Accepted regardless of initial beliefs
1 When Paul and his companions had passed through Amphipolis and Apollonia, they came to Thessalonica, where there was a Jewish synagogue. 2As was his custom, Paul went into the synagogue, and on three Sabbath days he reasoned with them from the Scriptures, 3explaining and proving that the Messiah had to suffer and rise from the dead. “This Jesus I am proclaiming to you is the Messiah,” he said. 4Some of the Jews were persuaded and joined Paul and Silas, as did a large number of God-fearing Greeks and quite a few prominent women.
Paul is preaching, teaching and sharing Jesus with people who were Jewish and Greek, so their understanding of who Jesus really was would have been skewed. This shows us that people can come to a revelation of what Jesus’ purpose was when He came and dwelt amongst us. Paul was able to journey with people’s thinking from one place to another through words and actions. He spent time with them explaining who Jesus was. We must be willing to journey with people and their views on life. The results may not be instant, but it is worth it in the end.
God accepts people regardless of their initial beliefs.
Day 5 // Accepted regardless of nationality or race
1 At Caesarea there was a man named Cornelius, a centurion in what was known as the Italian Regiment. 2 He and all his family were devout and God-fearing; he gave generously to those in need and prayed to God regularly.
Here we read of a man who was a centurion in the Italian Regiment. We are told that he was ‘God fearing’ which meant that he respected God and His ways. Obviously, he wasn’t a Jewish person and was Italian by birth so at some point he came into a relationship with Jesus and decided to follow His teachings. It would have meant that possibly someone he knew would have had to share Jesus with him. Someone that he knew would have lived a life that demonstrated the love, grace, mercy and peace of Jesus towards him and he was compelled to follow Jesus as well. I love the idea that regardless of someone’s nationality they can have a relationship with Jesus. It highlights that the love of God is truly for everyone. We are told by Jesus in Matthew 28:19-20 “19 Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptising them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”
The disciples did that. Will you speak to your neighbour or co-worker, who is from a different nationality or race than you, about Jesus?
God accepts people regardless of their nationality or race.