Stop Making it Difficult
For it seemed good to the Holy Spirit, and to us, to lay no greater burden on you than these necessary things: that you abstain from things sacrificed to idols, from blood, from things strangled, and from sexual immorality, from which if you keep yourselves, it will be well with you. Farewell. Acts 15:28 WEB
After Jesus ascended to the Father and the gospel started to spread, gentiles (non Jewish people) started to follow Jesus. They started out joyful and free, just so glad to be saved, but soon men came that taught them: 'Unless you are circumcised and keep the law of Moses, you cannot be saved.' This became such a sharp dispute that the apostles had to meet in Jerusalem to resolve it. The letter above was their verdict. Also: 'We should not make it difficult for those turning to God' (Acts 15:19).
That is an interesting statement for the first church to have penned: 'We should not make it difficult for those turning to God.' There seems to be an invisible force, like a gravitational pull, that draws the church back toward legalism. We can feel like we are earning our salvation with our works, when it is a free gift that we only have to accept.
I have visited churches that were too 'holy' for a sinner to visit at all. The members often feel like they are 'Super Christians.' They have had to pay their dues over the years and a newcomer will only be one of them when they have done likewise. It is like they have God locked in a box, and will share Him with whom they deem worthy.
Almost every time, I watched God start using the new person immediately while the 'holy ones' sat on the bench and watched. God always appears outside of our little box for He is not a pet. Some believe that you need to get your life in order first, and then you can join the church. When in reality, if you will just come to the Lord Jesus, He will give you the grace to clean your life up and guide you through it.
If you are a follower of Jesus, make it easy for others to come to know Him as well. Drop the rule set and focus on introducing them to a Friend. He will ultimately decide who goes to heaven, not us, so the pressure is off our shoulders. If you are not a follower of Jesus: accept my apologies for the way that we have presented Him. He is much more forgiving, loving, considerate, and kind than His followers are. Give Him a chance to show you this, and you will not regret it.Prayer: Heavenly Father, I pray that You fill my life with abundant grace and help me see beyond the traditions of men. Send Your rain on my life, make me moldable,, and teachable. I want to be a part of what You are doing today and to know You in a deeper way. Do not pass me by Lord, in the name of Jesus Christ I pray.
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