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Daily Reading: 2 Kings 6:1-7:20 ESV, Acts 15:36-16:15 ESV, Psalm 142:1-7 ESV, Proverbs 17:24-25 ESV

Daily Verse: “As they went on their way through the cities, they delivered to them for observance the decisions that had been reached by the apostles and elders who were in Jerusalem.” (Acts 16:4 ESV)

DOGMA (1378): “Is transliterated in English, primarily denoting an opinion or judgment; hence, an opinion expressed with authority, a doctrine, ordinance, decree.”[i]

Opinion expressed.

Paul and Timothy relay the news from the Jerusalem Counsel about the decision not to require circumcision.  Often, we hear about court rulings and decisions made by judges to enforce the law.  Every day we express our opinion an average of 35,000 times.[i]  Whether we like it or not, life demands evaluating situations and drawing conclusions.

God’s foundation.

When Paul and Timothy gathered at the Jerusalem Council to decide the issue of circumcision, they did so based on Jesus’ teachings.  The foundation for evaluating and concluding came from what Jesus said and did.  If we make our decisions through the lens of scripture, our opinions change from self-centered to God-centered ones.

God must place us in situations to help us learn to make decisions.  If circumcision didn’t become an issue, the debate and decision wouldn’t have happened.  We don’t grow if we don’t learn to apply God’s word to our lives.  Every situation we encounter offers an opportunity to decide based on God’s teachings or our instincts.  Looking to Jesus’ coaching will help us overcome our limited perspective.

In the same way, as we face circumstances and seek God’s guidance, we’ll become better at responding like Jesus instead of ourselves.  Practicing forgiveness makes forgiving easier.  Intentionally asking God to give you His perspective will change how you think about people.  Everyone matters to God, even the person you despise.  God wants them to matter to us.

Decide today to turn to Jesus, allowing Him to help you make decisions.  God gives us a firm foundation and the instructions to navigate this world in the Scriptures that have stood the test of time.  Refer to the owner’s manual to help guide you through your day.

[i] Strong, J., & Strong, J. (2010). The New Strong’s expanded exhaustive concordance of the Bible. Greek Dictionary of the New Testament (p. 71) Thomas Nelson


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