Please use one of the prompts below to get your journaling started.
- Explore your fears and what’s behind them.
- Write about a relational conflict you are experiencing.
- List out all that you are grateful for.
- Recall a significant reaction, conversation or event.
- Here are some tools to help you with the devotionals:
Acts 15:12-21 (ESV)
12 And all the assembly fell silent, and they listened to Barnabas and Paul as they related what signs and wonders God had done through them among the Gentiles.
13 After they finished speaking, James replied, “Brothers, listen to me. 14 Simeon has related how God first visited the Gentiles, to take from them a people for his name.
15 And with this the words of the prophets agree, just as it is written,
16 “‘After this I will return,
and I will rebuild the tent of David that has fallen;
I will rebuild its ruins,
and I will restore it,
17 that the remnant of mankind may seek the Lord,
and all the Gentiles who are called by my name,
says the Lord, who makes these things 18 known
from of old.’
19 Therefore my judgment is that we should not trouble those of the Gentiles who turn to God, 20 but should write to them to abstain from the things polluted by idols, and from sexual immorality, and from what has been strangled, and from blood. 21 For from ancient generations Moses has had in every city those who proclaim him, for he is read every Sabbath in the synagogues.”
• God surprised many of the first Jewish believers by revealing His long planned desire to include the Gentiles as part of His people. How does this encourage and challenge me with regards to people in my life who don’t yet know God?
• How do James’s sentiments differ from those expressed by the Pharisee believers earlier in the chapter (v.1, v.5)? Why does James say that they should not make it difficult for the Gentiles who are turning to God? Are there ways that I or other Christians might make it difficult for others to turn to God through our actions, words, and lifestyle?
- Although these were not required for salvation, what compromises were the Gentile believers encouraged to make in order to promote unity with the Jewish believers? Are there some “rights” that I can voluntarily give up in order to promote unity with my brothers and sisters as well?