Thursday: Giving Him the Glory
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Some people are hesitant to turn in successful reports because they wonder if it is a form of boasting in human achievement. In reality, however, by faithful reporting God is glorified, and His church is strengthened in the faith and resolve to continue working for Him. While it is true that occasionally someone may report with less than honorable motivation, this should not stop humble believers from sharing what mighty things God has wrought through them as He has empowered them to be witnesses and evangelists for Him. If done with humility, enthusiasm, and a love for souls, reporting can greatly encourage other church members also to get involved in the work of evangelism and soul-winning.

Read Acts 11:1–18. How did the leaders and members of the Jerusalem church respond to Peter’s report of the work among the Gentiles? How could the principles revealed there prove important for us today? 

Image © Jeff Preston from GoodSalt.com

There had been criticism of Peter and the others who had ventured to witness and evangelize outside of Jewish circles; then, however, as a result of Peter’s report to the Jerusalem church, the criticism ceased and the other Jewish believers glorified God.

From our perspective today, it’s not easy to understand the issues at stake then. Of course, the gospel is to go to everyone, Jew and Gentile—even if to “the Jew first” (Rom. 1:16). Everyone knows that. Yet, in the context of the book of Acts, the idea of the covenant promises extending to the Gentiles would require a major shift in Jewish thinking. However, because of the reports of God’s activity and blessing, the church members gained a new understanding of God’s desire to save all people everywhere, even though from the start it had always been God’s plan to save everyone who would be saved (Eph. 1:1–4Isa. 53:6Heb. 2:9).

For the average reader, it will probably take under two minutes to read Peter’s report in Acts 11:1–18. We can safely assume that His report, and the ensuing questions and further report responses, would have taken considerably longer. Furthermore, although Peter refers to himself throughout the report, and although some members would surely have said, “well done, Peter,” all the glory was given to God, and the church leaders were encouraged as they understood better that the gospel commission to the entire world could become a reality.

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Thursday: Giving Him the Glory — 2 Comments

  1. Unfortunately, the report to the Jerusalem church by Peter was not given to encourage its members in evangelism but to defend a God ordained ministry. Paul had to do the same thing a number of times concerning his ministry (Gal 1:11-2:9).

    It seems that when the church does not understand her God or its purpose for being then those who are God's chosen people have to defend themselves and prove that what they do is indeed God's will. It is something that every prophet in every age has had to do including Ellen White.

    There are indeed fanatical imbalanced ministries out there but we need to be cautious in making judgments concerning their ministry. Even in the early church there were different temperaments among the members of the church. While many like Stephen were vigorous and aggressive in proclaiming the Gospel, the apostles themselves apparently were not so, "At that time a great persecution arose against the church which was at Jerusalem; and they were all scattered throughout the regions of Judea and Samaria, except the apostles" (Act 8:1 NKJV). Their approach to evangelism seemed to be different and less "in your face" with more of the idea of reconciliation in mind. Eventually, of course, they too would be persecuted but not immediately.

    So today there are different ministries and, "the eye cannot say to the hand, 'I have no need of you'; nor again the head to the feet, 'I have no need of you.' No, much rather, those members of the body which seem to be weaker are necessary . . . that there should be no schism in the body, but that the members should have the same care for one another. And if one member suffers, all the members suffer with it; or if one member is honored, all the members rejoice with it. Now you are the body of Christ, and members individually (1 Cor 12:21-27 NKJV).

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  2. As SDA our call is to the gospel commission, "for it is God who works in you both to will and to do for his good pleasure”(Phil. 2:13) after the Jews crucified our Lord at Jerusalem, which now is Sinai the word was now given to the gentiles. "Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit" (Matt. 28:19). Our mission is to proclaim the 3 angels messages "the time is fulfilled and the kingdom of God is at hand. Repent and believe in the gospel” (Mark 1:15). The cog7 is the remnant of our lord Jesus Christ. His desire is for us to reveal the mysteries! "For the mystery of the lawlessness is already at work; only he who now restrains will do so until he is taken out of the way”(2 Thess 2:7). "The falling away"; it is written has already taken place in our church! "For nothing is secret that will not be revealed, nor anything hidden that will not be known and come to light." (Luke 8:17). “All power, honor, and glory belongs to Jesus and him alone." The sheet of food that was revealed to Peter in the trance, represents the gentile world. "What goes into the body is good, what comes out is bad." It is written. Now even in our church circumcision is being contended, it is the hardening of our hearts and true belief in Christ and him alone. While we were asleep someone came in and planted bad seed, I tell you now in latter times no one will worship in Jerusalem or on any other hill. What my father is looking for is those who worship him in the spirit and true humility of heart. We should be broken in pieces and come to Christ in true and contrite repentance. Everyone will see it, our reflection will represent the kingdom of heaven and we will be light bearers for Christ! Rejoice in our risen savior saints!!!

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