READ: Acts 15:22-35
- A part of the conversation involved Peter recounting the role the Holy Spirit played in the conversion of the Gentile, Cornelius, and his family. Then, a bit later, James called on them to think about Scripture (written through the Holy Spirit). In the end, the decision they made is said to be “good to the Holy Spirit.” Their conclusion had Spirit approval. That’s the kind of decisions the church should always reach.
- Not surprisingly (in other words, consistent with what you would expect from the Spirit), the decision was to lay no burden on the Gentiles inconsistent with what was practical. It was not a decision made to honor preferences; it was a decision to honor community. The choice they made would enable freedom for the Gentiles and yet create community within a Jewish context. It’s the kind of decision we might all pray for.
- The Spirit approves the church’s choices when the church honors the heart of God. In other words, we seek to preserve unity while at the same time not losing sight of our purpose. It’s a difficult balance but one that must absolutely be reached. We dare not engender division over things that don’t matter, and we absolutely must not compromise the purpose for our existence. The challenge, of course, is deciding what is major and what isn’t. Thank God for the presence of His Spirit among us.
- Thank God for a generation of men and women who sacrificed preferences for purpose.
- Commit to honoring their decision by doing the same in the present and future.
- What are the issues that you feel are Biblically important enough that you might consider leaving a church (including Madison Park)? The list should be pretty short.
PRAY: Offer thanks for who we are and what we’ve been allowed to become. Pray that we are always sensitive to future generations. Ask God to keep using us.