Thoughts from daily Bible reading for today – February 3, 2016
Peter addressed them, “You know, I’m sure that this is highly irregular. Jews just don’t do this—visit and relax with people of another race. But God has just shown me that no race is better than any other. Acts 10:27-28, The Message
Racism has always hurt my heart. The thought of one human being treating another human being less than human because of their skin color—makes my skin crawl. As a young boy being bused to a primarily African American elementary school in Meridian, Mississippi—I learned to love, admire and laugh with my black friends. My heart quivers in grief and my eyes fill with tears when I feel the pain of injustice from friends who still experience the sting of racial sin. Thankfully, the unmerited suffering of racism is Christ’s call to embrace His unmerited grace.
Peter confesses to a diverse group of Jews and Gentiles his culture’s sin of racism. God showed Peter (one of the most influential leaders of the infant Christian faith) that no race is better than any other—to think, believe or act superior to another group of people is to commit the sin of racism. One race’s claim of elitism over another grieves God. What one man may call unclean by his smug arrogance or shameless ignorance, is what the Lord calls clean. The birthplace of a person does not determine their value—being born in God’s image defines a person’s value.
“After a long debate, Peter got up and said to them, “Brothers, you know that in the early days God made a choice among you, that by my mouth the Gentiles would hear the message of the gospel and believe. And God, who knows and understands the heart, testified to them, giving them the Holy Spirit, just as He also did to us; and He made no distinction between us and them, cleansing their hearts by faith [in Jesus]” (Acts 15:7-9, AMP).
Are you or someone you know a victim of racism? If so, speak the language of forgiveness if you have been treated harshly by other human beings because of your race. Like Jesus proclaimed from the cross, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing” (Luke 23:34)—you lift up the cross of love and forgiveness. Those guilty of crimes should be punished by the law and Christians guilty of racism should be called out by the church—and churches guilty of racism will be judged by God. The Kingdom of God is the most racially diverse place in history.
What is the best remedy for racism? Jesus is the short answer. It’s imperative for those of us who follow Jesus as Savior and Lord to individually treat all races with respect, kindness and love. Similar to Jesus’ conversation with the Samaritan woman we likewise—as individuals—go to society’s outcasts. We show them the love of the Lord, we share the gospel and we educate them in the ways of Christ. Passive racism is overcome by active inclusiveness of others different than ourselves. We work together, we worship together, we play together—all for the glory of God!
“After this I looked, and there before me was a great multitude that no one could count, from every nation, tribe, people and language, standing before the throne and before the Lamb. They were wearing white robes and were holding palm branches in their hands. And they cried out in a loud voice: “Salvation belongs to our God, who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb” (Revelation 7:9-10).
Prayer: Heavenly Father, give me Your heart of love and acceptance for all people regardless of their race or religion.
Application: Invite someone from a different culture than yourself into your home for dinner.
Related Readings: Psalm 9:11; Isaiah 24:13-16; Romans 12:9-21;1 Timothy 3:16; Revelation 5:9
Post/Tweet this today: The birthplace of a person does not determine their value—being born in God’s image defines a person’s value. #WisdomHunters #unmeritedracism
Worship Resource: 6 minute video – African Children’s Choir: Walking in the Light
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I really enjoy most of the daily devotional that are sent out daily. But this particular one really struck a cord in me. Please show me when God created different “races” of people. Now if Adam and Eve are the mother and father of man, then it is one race. Being Jewish is not a race, it’s a culture or ethnic group of people. There will never be any real change if we as Christians continue to perpetuate the very idea of racism.
Thank you so much for your thought provoking question! I must tell you, that I always appreciate questions like yours because it gets me to thinking and going to God’s Word for answers and clarity. Thank you for the opportunity to dig deeper into His Word.
Of course, we know that Adam and Eve were the “original parents” as it is written in Genesis.
“Adam named his wife Eve, because she would become the mother of all the living.” Genesis 3:20
Then we learned later in Genesis, after the flood, Noah and his sons, populated the earth.
In Genesis 11:7-9, we further learn how the different groups of people came about:
“Come, let us go down and confuse their language so they will not understand each other. So, the Lord scattered them from there over all the earth and they stopped building the city. That is why it is called Babel- because the Lord confused the language of the whole world. From there the Lord scattered them over the face of the earth.” Hmmm, interesting….
The verse I found to “bring it all home” as far as all of us being “of one blood” is:
“From one man he made every nation of men, that they should inhabit the whole earth; and he determined the times set for them and the exact places where they should live.” Act 17:26
How right you are when you commented “There will never be any real change if we as Christians continue to perpetuate the very idea of racism.” But, I do not want to say “we Christians” referring to all believers that perpetuate the idea of racism. For those believers that do continue to further the idea of racism, may God open their eyes and hearts to the Love He has for all His children.
As Boyd so sincerely and personally stated, “My heart quivers in grief and my eyes fill with tears when I feel the pain of injustice from friends who still experience the sting of racial sin”. As Jesus followers, how can we not feel that pain?
Thank you again, wisdom hunter, for your comments. We are grateful for you and look forward to hearing from you again. If you would like to continue our discussion please feel free to contact me email@example.com
May God bless you,
“Keep me safe, O God,
for in you I take refuge.
I said to the Lord, “You are my Lord;
apart from you I have no good thing.”
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