Gentiles receive the Holy Spirit
Scripture reading for February 6th: Acts 10, Psalm 26, Proverbs 26
Acts 10: 44-48 “While Peter was still saying these things, the Holy Spirit fell on all who heard the Word. And the believers from among the circumcised who had come with Peter were amazed, because the Gift of the Holy Spirit was poured out even on the Gentiles. For they were hearing them speaking in other tongues and extolling God. Then Peter declared, “Can anyone withhold water for baptizing these people, who have received the Holy Spirit just as we have?” And he commanded them to be baptized in the Name of Jesus Christ. Then they asked him to remain for some days.”
Peter was a devout Jew, trained in the Old Testament Scriptures and the traditions of Judaism. He was also a man of prayer, and while praying God gave him a vision that challenged his understanding of Old Testament laws. In a vision, God called Peter first to eat what was lowered from heaven–foods the law declared unclean. But this was to prepare Peter to go to the home of a Gentile, Cornelius, without hesitation. Cornelius was a God-fearing man who loved God and gave alms to the poor. His heart of love got God’s attention and God sent Peter to share the Gospel. While sharing, the Holy Spirit was poured out from Heaven and Cornelius and his household spoke in tongues and glorified God. Peter then understood that God wanted the Gentiles to enjoy salvation and baptized them.
Psalm 26:8 “O Lord, I love the habitation of Your house, and the place where Your glory dwells.”
Prayer: Father God, thank You for showing no partiality between Jew and Gentile! Thank You for freely pouring out the Holy Spirit and the gifts on all people. Help me, as You helped Peter, to understand Your ways when my own prejudices and past religious training blocks me from knowing or doing Your will. Pour out Your Spirit as I share the Word of God with those who are hungry for truth.
Proverbs 26:28 “A lying tongue hates its victims, and a flattering mouth works ruin.”