The apostles and the believers throughout Judea heard that the Gentiles also had received the word of God. So when Peter went up to Jerusalem, the circumcised believers criticized him and said, “You went into the house of uncircumcised men and ate with them.” (Acts 11:1-3)
There’s one person whom I don’t want to receive the word of God. He has heard the word of God, but I’m convinced he hasn’t received it. If I found out he had received God’s word, I might not be happy. That means I’d have to see him in heaven.
The Jews had been taught for generations that the Gentiles were unclean and lesser people, so they weren’t rejoicing that the Gentiles had received the word of God. Instead, they were appalled that Peter ate with them.
Even though God created all in His image, the enemy convinces us that people are bad. The Bible tells us that our struggle isn’t against people (flesh and blood) but against the powers and spiritual forces of evil (Ephesians 6:12).
Peter did what was right. God made him aware of his prejudice, and he changed. Yet all his friends criticized him. Jesus commanded these early Christians to “Go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.” But the enemy blinded them. They thought they were carrying out the command by telling only Jews about Jesus. The enemy kept them from seeing the truth.
My enemy (and yours also) has been influenced by the power and forces of evil. And as I look back through my own life, I have been also. God commands us to love our enemies and trample on demons. We can’t change our enemies, only ourselves.
Father God, I praise you for making all people in Your image. Extract the enemy from my life. Let me picture You plucking the enemy from myself and my enemy and filling us with Your spirit and love. Then, would anything keep us from being friends? Help me be happy when my enemies receive Your word because Your love is life-changing. Give me wisdom to see Your truth. I pray in Jesus’ name, amen.
2 thoughts on “Daily Devotional Acts 11:1-3 – Is it right to rejoice when your enemy falls or rejoice when they receive God’s word? – Free Online Bible study – Commentary in easy English – Day 546”
You mention the one person you would not like to see in heaven. I also have a person that I would never like to see again. However, she is already gone from Earth and probably in Heaven, which means I will most likely see her again. God created all in his image, including both the people we prefer not to see again. Has the enemy convinced us that they are bad people, or are they actually bad people, made bad by the enemy? I think everyone has been influenced by the enemy at some point in their lives. Jody, let’s hope that we are able to open our hearts and be rid of the bad feelings against our enemies.
You’ve raised a very interesting question. For sure the enemy convinces us that people are bad. That’s why people throughout our lives don’t like us when we’ve done nothing wrong. Are people that the enemy convinces to go down the wrong path actually bad people? I would definitely call someone who has preyed on a child, stolen something dear to another, or a murderer a bad person. But am I wrong for thinking that since we are all made in God’s image? I think the important thing to take away is that probably everyone has been bad at some point in their lives when we’re tempted by the enemy, but when we choose Jesus to save us, by God’s grace He makes us righteous. Our fight is not with a bad person but with the enemy who convinced that person to go down a wrong path. When we consider what people have gone through-alcoholic parents, parents who beat their children, parents who are criminals, molestation, etc., it is easier to open our hearts to them. With God’s tremendous love which we cannot fully comprehend yet, I think we will be able to rid ourselves of the bad feelings we have against our enemies.