When the others [among the Jewish disciples] heard [that the Holy Spirit came on Cornelius, along with his family and friends], 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 11:18 NLT
Jesus had promised his disciples that the Holy Spirit would lead them to reach all the earth (Acts 1:8). Jesus poured out the Holy Spirit on the day of Pentecost to launch the church through the apostles' preaching (Acts 2:1-4, 32-33, 38-39, 41-48). The coming of the Holy Spirit was confirmation that God was fulfilling his promises given through the prophet Joel (Acts 2:16-21). When Samaritans began to respond to the message of Jesus, the Holy Spirit confirmed that Jesus' people should include "near Jews" into his family of faith (Acts 8:4-17, 25). But, what about including Gentiles? The Holy Spirit miraculously brought Peter and Cornelius together. Then, by coming to Cornelius and his household, the Spirit demonstrated that they should be baptized and accepted into Jesus' family (Acts 10:19-20, 34-48, 11:12, 15-18). As skeptical Jewish believers in Jerusalem heard about the Holy Spirit coming to Gentiles, they recognized the coming of the Spirit as God's acceptance of them, and they rejoiced. The Holy Spirit works to bring different people together in Jesus' family!
O Father, I am sorry your people have so often needed you to open our eyes to our need to fellowship people different from us. I thank you for the Holy Spirit, who has worked through history to tear down the barriers of race, nationality, and language to bring your people together. In this time of desperate need for us to end racial suspicion, division, and violence, I now ask that the Holy Spirit to lead us and make us all we need to be to bring all people together in Jesus. I pray this in Jesus' name and for his glory. Amen.
Related Scripture Readings
Other Devotionals from Heartlight for Monday, June 26, 2023
About This Devotional
Unstoppable! is a one-year devotional guide through the book of Acts. Each devotional consists of a scripture passage, a reflection and a prayer. The reflection opens up the day's scripture and shows how it challenges one to live for Jesus.
Unstoppable! is written by Phil Ware.
Scripture quotations are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright ©1996, 2004, 2007, 2013, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.