Thoughts from daily Bible reading for today – January 11, 2016
You [Cornelius] know the message God sent to the people of Israel, announcing the good news of peace through Jesus Christ, who is Lord of all… All the prophets testify about him that everyone who believes in him receives forgiveness of sins through his name. Acts 10:36, 43
I met my wife Rita in 7th grade when we couple skated on her birthday. We remained friends until we began to date exclusively at the Valentine’s dance our senior year of high school. A year later we were engaged to marry—an exclusive life long commitment to each other based on our shared beliefs and behaviors. Our love was inclusive of family, friends and acquaintances, but our marriage covenant before God was based on our exclusive relationship with one another.
The good news of peace through Jesus Christ is an inclusive invitation to all human beings. God’s love is inclusive for all who live on planet Earth. However, forgiveness and a personal relationship with our heavenly Father comes from an exclusive belief in Christ’s death as payment for our sins and His resurrection from death to give us life. Cornelius was instructed to take the inclusive gospel to the Gentiles, so they could believe in Jesus and have an exclusive relationship with Him. God’s inclusive love invites an exclusive relationship through Christ.
“This Jesus is the stone which was despised and rejected by you, the builders, but which became the chief Cornerstone. And there is salvation in no one else; for there is no other name under heaven that has been given among people by which we must be saved [for God has provided the world no alternative for salvation]” (Acts 4:11-12, AMP).
Have you exercised a formal faith commitment in Christ as your Lord and Savior? God’s inclusive love is not personal until by faith you have an exclusive relationship with Jesus. Salvation is free to all who believe, but remains an unopened gift to those who only passively play around with religion. The Lord’s love is inclusive for all who are alive. God’s salvation is exclusive for all who trust His son Jesus. His grace gives you an option: to trust or not to trust.
Furthermore, do not neglect sharing the gospel with those who are of a different culture or ethnicity. Jesus was clear, we are commissioned to go into all the world with the world changing good news of Jesus Christ the Son of God. An updated passport is a prescription for generosity’s immunization against greed, contentment’s influence over a drive for more stuff and souls being saved from sin’s condemnation. When we carry Christ’s inclusive love to all human beings, some will experience God’s exclusive salvation in His son Jesus. The gospel, when received, alters a believer’s eternal destiny from hell to heaven and transforms their old life to one of abundance.
“I [Jesus] am the gate; whoever enters through Me will be liberated, will go in and go out, and will find pastures. The thief approaches with malicious intent, looking to steal, slaughter, and destroy; I came to give life with joy and abundance” (John 10:9-10, The Voice).
Prayer: Heavenly Father, thank You for Your inclusive love that invites me into an exclusive relationship through Your son Jesus.
Related Readings: Matthew 7:13-15, 10:32; Luke 13:22-30; John 14:6; Acts 4:12, 15:16-19
Post/Tweet today: God’s inclusive love invites us into an exclusive relationship through His son Jesus Christ. #inclusiveandexclusive #wisdomhunters
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© 2016 by Boyd Bailey. All rights reserved.
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