Now those who had been scattered by the persecution that broke out when Stephen was killed traveled as far as Phoenicia, Cyprus and Antioch, spreading the word only among Jews. Some of them, however, men from Cyprus and Cyrene, went to Antioch and began to speak to Greeks also, telling them the good news about the Lord Jesus. The Lord’s hand was with them, and a great number of people believed and turned to the Lord. (Acts 11:19-21)
In the Book of Esther, Esther and her Uncle Mordecai assimilated into Persian culture. They did not reveal that they were Jewish nor did they practice many of the Jewish traditions. If they had been exclusive, God wouldn’t have been able to use Esther. She wouldn’t have become queen nor would she have been able to save her people when King Xerxes sent out a proclamation to kill all Jews.
The ministry of the Jews from Jerusalem, who ministered exclusively to Jews, was not nearly as fruitful as the ministry of the Jews from Cypress and Cyrene who assimilated into the culture where they were living and shared the Gospel with everyone as Jesus commanded.
I don’t think it is wrong to belong to exclusive organizations such as Executive Ministries who minister to primarily the wealthy or Jews for Jesus who minister primarily to Jews. It is difficult for both of these groups to submit to Jesus, and I know God calls on certain people to minister primarily to these and other groups. But Christianity shouldn’t be exclusive. In our everyday lives, we should love the owners of our company as well as the housekeepers and the homeless walking down the street outside of our buildings. We should worship in places that are all-inclusive or the Lord’s hand won’t be there.
Father, I praise You for Your unconditional love. Give me courage to seek answers to questions like: “What would my needs be if I was poor, if I was widowed, if I was wealthy, if I was a child…” and to go outside my comfort zone to minister to others whom I don’t know. I want to do what you have commanded: to make disciples of everyone and baptize them in Your name. In Jesus’ name I pray, amen.
4 thoughts on “Daily Devotional Acts 11:19-21 – What does the Bible say about exclusion? – Free Online Bible Study – Commentary in easy English – Day 550”
I think that we all have felt excluded from something in our lifetime. Usually it is not a good experience and can cause hurt feelings. I don’t feel that it is right to belong to anything that excludes people. Isn’t exclusion a form of prejudice? When I was young, black people were excluded from joining clubs, buying houses in white neighborhoods etc. Now we have a very diverse culture and people accept differences, which is a very good thing. God wants acceptance and inclusion.
When we exclude someone, it always causes hurt feelings. It can be because of prejudice but sometimes we do it without thinking because we think we’re better than another person. Exclusion is not done out of love unless we have a limit to the number of people we can invite to an event or we think someone could get hurt by another if we included them. I admire you for not belonging to any group that excludes. I always think about Dad and his church friends playing golf at courses that excluded black people. Do you think Dad was prejudice? I prayed for you and your family today. Blessings, Jody
No, I don’t think Dad was prejudiced, not at all. He didn’t make the rules where he played, the clubs did. If the club welcomed black people, Dad would have been fine with that. Infact, Dad would have been happy to play with a black person. Do you remember Lou Anna? Dad paid for her secretarial college so she could get herself and her girls out of the ghetto.
I don’t think dad was prejudice either, but I wish Christians would have boycotted golf courses or at least talked about the wrongness of not letting African Americans play golf at the semi-private and private golf clubs. Dad wouldn’t go to a public golf course to play golf with my friend, Lauren’s dad. He just told me that her dad couldn’t go to the courses that he played at. That devastated me. I remember Lou Ann. She was our housekeeper for awhile. I’m glad dad helped her. I just said a prayer for her girls. Hope you have a great day. I prayed for you and yours. I love you, Sis.