As the early church continued to spread the Good News of God’s forgiveness, the church continued to grow. St. Luke summarizes this growth in this manner:
“God has granted repentance that leads to life” (Acts 11:18).
What is repentance? To repent is to have a change of mind. Of course, the question must be asked, “Change of mind about what?” In the context of the passage, the change of mind has to do with who do you think Jesus is. Remember the challenge recorded in the 8th Chapter of the Acts of the Holy Spirit – do you worship Caesar or Jesus?
What might be the modern day equivalent? Do you worship the American flag or Jesus? Do you put a flag in a sanctuary dedicated to worship Jesus? Do you try to obfuscate your materialism by putting “In God We Trust” on your money? Do you play patriotic music during your worship service when your country goes to war?
Jesus demands no sharing of our affection. We need redemption from our attachment to the kingdom of this world. We need to repent of our worship of this world and our trust in our nation’s armaments. Jesus told us, “But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you” (Matthew 6:33).
God, grant us the gift of a change of mind that leads to LIFE.
Ronald Friesen © 2015