“It is my judgment, therefore, that we should not make it difficult for the Gentiles who are turning to God.” (Acts 15:19 NIV)
Turning to God isn’t easy. You can’t touch or see God like you can a person. Believing in His existence is a huge step of faith for a lot of people. We want what is tangible. God is intangible. I can understand why people have a hard time believing in Him. For those of us who do believe, we can make believing easier for others. The best way, accept them just as they are.
The best way, accept them just as they are.
Today’s verse comes from the Jerusalem Council. The purpose of the council was to debate circumcision of the Gentiles. The Jewish leaders wanted them circumcised. After much discussion, the decision was made. Circumcision is unnecessary for the Gentiles. Peter argued God hadn’t discriminated when He sent the Holy Spirit. Peter also pointed out why make them abide by a law that the Jews hadn’t kept. Peter concluded his summation with this statement:
“No! We believe it is through the grace of our Lord Jesus that we are saved, just as they are.” (Acts 15:11 NIV)
Grace of Jesus is our salvation. God’s grace is available to everyone. When others turn to God we should make it as easy for them as God made it for us. Turning to God is as simple as saying, “I give up God. My way isn’t working. I want to try your way.” God makes turning to Him so easy. We should do the same.
First, when someone tells you they’ve turned to God, believe them. We are not the judges of someone else’s heart. Only God knows if they have truly turned their life over to Him. Their actions will show you their heart change. I love talking with new believers because they love talking about God. They have a zest for life that is invigorating. New Christ followers want to get to know Him better. They want to understand His counter cultural ways. Their passion is infectious.
Second, encourage them in their new found faith. Don’t force the conversation. Let them talk about whatever they want to talk about. Engage with them in what is going on in their life at that moment. Help them see how God is working in their lives. Help them connect the dots of His presence in their life even before they placed their trust in Him. Help them see how God has drawn them to Him all along.
Help them find God’s purpose for their life. Their purpose isn’t the same as your purpose. Walk with them as God reveals His plans to them. Remind them, we never stop growing in Christ until God calls us back to Him.
Question of the Day:
How can you make turning to God easy for someone today?
Further Reading: 2 Kings 4:18-5:27 NIV, Acts 15:1-35 NIV, Psalm 141:1-10 NIV, Proverbs 17:23 NIV