Humility & Growth

Acts 11 is a short but profound chapter that highlights the way the apostles and early church interacted with each other in humility and demonstrates that when we are humble towards each other God blesses the church and brings growth:

Soon the news reached the apostles and other believers in Judea that the Gentiles had received the word of God. 2 But when Peter arrived back in Jerusalem, the Jewish believers criticized him. 3 “You entered the home of Gentiles and even ate with them!” they said. 4 Then Peter told them exactly what had happened. … 15 “As I began to speak,” Peter continued, “the Holy Spirit fell on them, just as he fell on us at the beginning. 16 Then I thought of the Lord’s words when he said, ‘John baptized with water, but you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit.’ 17 And since God gave these Gentiles the same gift he gave us when we believed in the Lord Jesus Christ, who was I to stand in God’s way?” 18 When the others heard this, they stopped objecting and began praising God. They said, “We can see that God has also given the Gentiles the privilege of repenting of their sins and receiving eternal life.” – Acts 11:1-4, 15-18 (NLT)

God was busy with something new, the inclusion of Gentiles into the Church, and new moves of The Spirit can be disturbing to our way of thinking. However the church leaders in Jerusalem were humble enough to disagree with Peter to his face rather than being passive agressive or writing him off. Equally it took humility on Peter’s behalf to meet with them and explain this new move of God rather than just brushing them off as being backward or foolish.

Ultimately this humility and willingness to disagree yet discuss and learn lead to increased unity, new understanding of God’s mission and new waves of missions to places like Antioch of Syria. God blesses His body when his followers work together in humility and love, guided by the Holy Spirit.

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