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Under Pressure

Daily we are bombarded with pressure to conform. We arrive at school, work and even church and feel pressure to act a specific way, associate with certain people and not to associate with others. The early church was no exception, and in Acts 11 we see Peter experiencing this pressure:  “... in no time the leaders and friends … heard that the non-Jewish ‘outsiders’ were now ‘in.’ ‘What do you think you’re doing rubbing shoulders with that crowd, eating what is prohibited and ruining our good name?’” (Acts 11:1-3 The Message)

In Peter’s day, even after becoming Christians, the Jews still refused to associate with the Gentiles whom they viewed as inferior. When Peter followed God’s direction in interacting with them, he was criticized. Despite the attacks, he did not waver in describing his experiences: “As I began to speak, the Holy Spirit came on them (the Gentiles) as he had come on us at the beginning ...  So if God gave them the same gift he gave us who believed in the Lord Jesus Christ, who was I to think that I could stand in God’s way?” (Acts 11:15, 17 NIV)

Peter stood his ground, spoke of Jesus and people were changed. “When they heard this, they had no further objections and praised God, saying, ‘So then, even to Gentiles God has granted repentance that leads to life.’” (Acts 11:18 NIV)

Reflect:

  • What pressures to compromise do you experience? 
  • How are you standing in God's way? How are you letting Him lead you?
  • Who does God want you to be a Peter to?

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