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October 12, 2016

"Then Peter replied, “I see very clearly that God shows no favoritism.  In every nation he accepts those who fear him and do what is right.” Acts 10:34-35

We have all been on the giving and receiving end of favoritism.  It show it’s ugly head through the damaging attitude of racism, or the more subtle and acceptable form of cliques among peers.  Either way, both are an offense to God. Both attitudes smell of arrogance and superiority. At the core both say, my way and those like me are better and more valuable.  This sadly couldn’t be further from the truth. The Bible tells us that in the beginning God was the one who created us and made us in His likeness. Because of this, it is safe to assume that we are all equally valuable. No one person is greater than the other, since all were created. We did not choose our parents, our place of birth, or the color of our skin. That was determined for us. Peter reminds us that it is God’s nature to value and love equally everyone, and that He invites all people to come into a saving relationship with Himself. Just study the life of Jesus and you will see someone who entered a racially and economically divided culture and showed no partiality. He loved, healed and taught everyone that crossed his path.  He healed a centurion’s servant (political and cultural enemy of His own people). He sat and talked with an adulterous samaritan woman which was the marginalized jackpot.  First, woman were second class citizens in that day.  Second, she was a Samaritan; Jews and Samaritans hated each other.  Third, she was very immoral and sinful.  Notice Jesus didn’t care about any of these labels, because he cared about her!  When you and I truly understand that we have all been created by God with equal love and value, we will be able to care for others like Jesus did. We will see past the labels people have created.  How have you been playing favorites with the people around you?  Ask the Lord to forgive you of your wrong attitude and to see others the same way Jesus sees them.  Also, ask Him to show you how you can encourage the marginalized, bullied, and left-out you encounter. Then ask Him to give you the strength to live it out. He is for everyone!

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