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The Church that Changed

Navigating Life's Unpredictable Script

06/12/2024 Stephen Davey

Perhaps you can identify with having recently changed your geography, your career, or your family dynamics. Whether it's moving from the coast to dryer land, transitioning from an office career to a stay-at-home life with a newborn, or experiencing an empty nest as children leave for college, change is a constant in our lives.

No change is easy. We naturally resist the rough waters and hardships that come with it. One of the most difficult changes is regarding lifelong traditions and past heritage, especially when it involves our relationship with Christ and how we worship.

In Acts 10, we see a significant change in the early church as Peter's lifelong beliefs are challenged. Peter, staying in the home of Simon the tanner, receives a vision from God that contradicts the Old Testament dietary laws and paves the way for the inclusion of Gentiles into the church. This vision required Peter to set aside his traditions and embrace something new.

Upon returning to Jerusalem, Peter faces criticism from the Jewish believers for associating with Gentiles. However, he calmly explains his vision and the work of the Holy Spirit among the Gentiles. This moment in church history marks the dramatic inclusion of Gentiles into the body of Christ, breaking down long-standing barriers.

As we navigate changes in our own lives, we can learn from Peter's example. He was willing to change something ancient for something new, embrace someone different, and defend something new. This willingness to change allowed the early church to grow and include all believers, regardless of their background.

As believers today, we must be open to change, especially when it comes to following God's leading. We need to distinguish between godly disciplines and legalism, and learn to embrace biblical commands while letting go of personal preferences that are not scripturally mandated.

In the drama of the Christian life, change is inevitable. The key is to embrace it with a heart open to God's direction, trusting that He is guiding us through each scene of our lives.

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