There’s a good reason that word causes a sickening reaction. In fact, it has become even more apparent lately that if someone wants to cast an individual or group in the worst possible light . . . that’s the word label to apply.
In New Testament times, the word “Roman” would have caused a similar reaction among Christian.
It was a Roman, Pontius Pilate, who sent Jesus to the cross. It was a Roman emperor, Nero, who blamed the christians for the burning of Rome. And it was Roman leaders who had countless Christians executed in the cruelest ways possible.
And the Roman Army. They were the agents who made it all possible . . . which is why this account in Acts 10 is so startling:
In Caesarea, there lived a Roman army officer named Cornelius, who was a captain of the Italian Regiment. He was a devout, God-fearing man, as was everyone in his household. He gave generously to the poor and prayed regularly to God.Acts 10:1–2
Wait? What?! No!
Once again, the Holy Spirit knows no limits or boundaries.
An angel, a vision, and the Holy Spirit, touched the life of a Roman officer and used him to convince the Apostle Peter that salvation through Christ is available to EVERYONE.
And Peter trusted…
God has shown me that I should no longer think of anyone as impure or unclean.Acts 10:22
EVERYONE you and I know or will ever meet are included in God’s life-saving, soul-winning Gospel invitation to be His children now and forever.
We are living at a time when there are people who want to label us by groups determined by race, gender, ethnicity, religions, economics, education, and even politics or occupation. And beyond labeling . . . valuations are even applied often.
As followers of Jesus, we cannot . . . we must not fall for this lie.
Every single person is a unique wonderfully made creation fully known and loved by the Lord.
Paul wrote to the followers of Jesus living in Rome:
I am writing to all of you in Rome who are loved by God and are called to be his own holy people.Romans 1:7
And we must also reach out to individuals of all backgrounds, sharing the message of Jesus’ love and the power to defeat division and remove labels of hate.
A Prayer for Jesus’ Love to Defeat Division and Remove Labels
Father, thank you for loving us so much You sent Jesus to save us. You are God. You could have chosen whatever way You wanted as the requirement for eternal life with You in heaven. But You chose love. You offered Jesus to live among us . . . to show us Your love through His life, death, and resurrection. You chose a way that redeems us through love, trust, and faithfulness. Your grace and mercy truly are amazing.
You tell us through Your Word that You want everyone to be saved and to understand the truth. (1 Timothy 2:4) Peter said to Cornelius and his family, “I see very clearly that God shows no favoritism.” (Acts 10:34) And then he went on to tell them the truth about Jesus.
Thank you for the love that is able to defeat division. Please forgive us, Father, for seeing divisions where You didn’t create them. Forgive us for labeling people instead of seeing individuals created by and deeply loved by You. Please help us share Jesus’ love in ways that show others the truth of who You are. Help us show Jesus’ love in a way that invites people to the joy-filled blessings of a relationship with You. I ask this in the name of Jesus, the One who defeats division and removes labels. Amen.
The enemy of our souls will always be at work trying to divide us from one another because we are strong when we are united in Christ Jesus.
May we, with the help of the Holy Spirit, keep our focus on the One who unites us in faith . . . the One who gives us everything we need to love people one at a time.
On today’s note write:
Jesus’ love is the power that defeats division and remove labels.
May God bless you today and you focus your heart and mind on Jesus’ love.
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