After much discussion, Peter got up and addressed them: “Brothers, you know that some time ago God made a choice among you that the Gentiles might hear from my lips the message of the gospel and believe. God, who knows the heart, showed that he accepted them by giving the Holy Spirit to them, just as he did to us. He did not discriminate between us and them, for he purified their hearts by faith. Now then, why do you try to test God by putting on the necks of Gentiles a yoke that neither we nor our ancestors have been able to bear? No! We believe it is through the grace of our Lord Jesus that we are saved, just as they are.
This Scripture reminds me of the story of the Samaritan woman Jesus met at the well. She was a woman of ill repute. She made mistakes just as these Christians who were Pharisees made a mistake wanting to place the burden of circumcision and following the Ten Commandments on Gentile Christians. Jesus listened to the Samaritan woman. And the apostles and elders listened to the Pharisees. God doesn’t discriminate between those who make a lot of mistakes and those who don’t make many. He knows our hearts and searches for those who need His grace the most and those who are ready to accept it like Jesus sought out the woman at the well and the shepherd left his flock of 99 to search for the one lost sheep.
We believe it is through the grace (gifts from God that we don’t deserve) of our Lord Jesus that we are saved, but do we accept His grace? We question why God doesn’t seek us out or seek out our loved ones with His gifts of grace, but He knows our hearts. We have to be willing to accept his mercy, believe we are righteous and worthy to be His children, and accept His help to save us from our problems and fulfill our destinies. When we are ready to receive God’s grace, He will find and bless us.
Heavenly Father, I praise You for Your gift of grace. Help me receive it. Ready the hearts of my loved ones to accept Your grace and approach them. In Christ’s name, I pray. Amen