In Acts, chapter 10, Peter points out God's love for us in a very unique way. Let's first consider the context. Jesus has been dead for some time and Peter is still in the spiritual rebuilding process. He is coping with the loss of the Messiah he thought would be the Conquering Messiah on earth in Peter’s lifetime. He denied knowing Jesus three times before Jesus died. Peter no doubt spent a lot of time conflicted, confused, and afflicted by his lack of faith.
In spite of his shortcomings, Peter is doing something profound. He is helping grow the flock of Jesus. He has seen God’s grace first hand, and God’s forgiveness. Peter has a revelation. This revelation: that God loves us, accepts us, and cares for us all no matter how sinless or sinful we are. “Of a truth, I perceive that that God is no respecter of persons.” Acts 10-34 (KJV). We spend a lot of time on earth obsessing over things. Literally, things.
We are all God’s children. It is hard to live in this world and be serve God. We are called to be in the world, but not of the world (see John 17:14–15). The duality of life places a heavy burden on every believer.
One verse later Peter says “But in every nation whoever fears Him and works righteousness is accepted by Him.” Peter is expressing God’s love for all of us. He is stating that we can all share in God’s grace by fearing God and trying to righteously serve Him. Peter lived this example.
I am grateful that God loves and respects us all. Peter knew it probably as well as any person alive. He denied knowing Jesus, ran from the cross, and spent a long time avoiding God’s grace after Jesus died. Basically, he abandoned his best friend who happened to also be God. Imagine that for a minute. Yet, out of all of it, Jesus still loved and forgave Peter. He made Peter the rock on which he built his church (see Mathew 16:18). He gave Peter one of the most respected positions in His ministry. To his credit, Peter recognized it: “Of a truth, I perceive that that God is no respecter of person."
A mistake I think we all make is considering status as the same as importance. It is easy to treat people unequal based on the perception of importance. But Peter was a perfect example of how we must treat each other. We must respect one another, but on the basis of human dignity and that at least a little of God is imbued in all of us. The beauty of life is that God's grace is available to all of us - equally.
I hope that you know God’s love. I hope that you feel His presence in your life every day. If you don’t or if you are struggling with your faith, here is a link here to a 24-hour prayer line to help you. Remember, God is working on all of us and through all of us. He is the potter and we are the clay (Isaiah 64:8).
God bless you and may His peace be with you always.
- Jed Sents