February 13, 2019·tcotw
“Truly I understand that God shows no partiality, but in every nation anyone who fears Him and does what is right is acceptable to Him. As for the word that He sent to Israel, preaching good news of peace through Jesus Christ, He is Lord of all.”
— Acts 10:34-36
“Truly I understand that God shows no partiality.” Allow these words to sink in. The weight of it.
The Lord is not partial.
The Message paraphrases it perfectly, “God plays no favorites!” I’m particular about certain things, one of which is unnecessary exclamation points. Yet, this exclamation point is needed: Luke is emphasizing the point that our Father God is not biased or prejudiced. He doesn’t prefer one race or ethnicity. He is not bound to our social standards or theological debates. He sees us as we are and says we are good, because we are His.
Growing up, my parents taught me that we’re all created in the perfect image of God, even though that can look very different. We’re all unique, we’re created in a distinct way, and what a beautiful world we have because of this. Yet, I sometimes see in the Church that we are partial, we judge, we play favorites and have our own prejudices, we value one person based on their status or class, and disregard another because of their lack of status or class.
It’s astounding that we have the most amazing role model, One who has seen humanity at its finest and most dreadful moments, and loves us all the same, One who knows our hearts and still chose us. He knows, and yet our Father God shows us His grace and mercy, which are new every morning. He doesn’t see us as who we were; instead, He treasures us for who we can be.
We’re called to live a life that reflects the nature and character of the Lord, and when we view others through the lens of Christ, people will look at us and say, “they play no favorites!” (and they might throw in a few extra exclamation points for extra emphasis, and I think they’re needed!).
I encourage you to continue reading this week’s chapters, especially Acts 15:8-9, “And God, who knows the heart, bore witness to them, by giving them the Holy Spirit just as He did to us, and He made no distinction between us and them, having cleansed their hearts by faith.