Wednesday, August 28, 2019

Devotionals for the Heart: Commands

God’s Commands
A devotional by Carrie Del Pizzo

“And on the next day he arose and went away with them.” 
– Acts 10:23 (NASB)

The Bible is filled with examples of God asking His people to do things that sounded crazy: Noah was told to build a boat when he had never seen rain. Joshua was told to march around Jericho as a way to defeat the city. Gideon was told to face 135,000 Midianite warriors with an army of only 300.

And then we come to this passage in Acts 10. Ancient Jews did not associate with Gentiles, who were considered sinful and unclean. A Jew wouldn’t risk contamination from a Gentile because the purification process could be a lot of work.

So, the earliest Christians were Jews who shared the good news with their fellow Jews. But in this chapter, a Roman centurion named Cornelius reaches out to Peter—unheard of! And Peter willingly goes to him—insane!

Why would these men risk their reputations by defying the accepted standards of their culture? Because they both received clear instructions from God, just as Noah, Joshua, and Gideon had.

My husband and I have received a pretty clear command from God. But while the command is clear, the exact instructions are a little fuzzy.

Last fall (season), God told us to begin volunteering at the local crisis pregnancy center and to prepare the spare bedroom in our home for a young lady and her baby who would need a family. We were given the option to get our foster care license, just in case there was a girl in foster care who needed help. We decided to be prepared even though the maternity home rarely gets wards of the state.

Until today.

There is a young mom who is over 18, but she is struggling desperately. She has no family, no friends, and no place to live. The house parents at the maternity home are the only people who have been kind to her in the last year, so that’s where she went.

Because her situation is so dire, the house parents are faced with finding her a home or calling Child Protective Services. Their call to me is not unexpected. This is what we signed up for. What we didn’t sign up for is the fact she may not want to keep her three-month-old baby and could ask us to adopt.

Whoa! God, we did not talk about adoption.

I paused to think about what we did talk about … a young lady and her baby who needed a family. And that’s us.

Nothing is decided or set in stone or signed into law at this point. But we are earnestly praying about how God wants us to proceed. (Feel free to join in. We covet your prayers!)

Meanwhile, we are remembering these Bible-based truths:

· God used Noah’s boat to save eight people and the animals from a worldwide flood.

· God used the tired feet of Joshua and friends to crumble the walls of Jericho.

· God used the noise of 300 trumpets and broken pitchers to defeat the Midianite army.

· God used two unlikely friends, Peter and Cornelius, to bring the good news of His great love to a desperate and sinful world.

· And God will use my house and my family to share His Love with a girl and her baby.

What “crazy” thing is God asking you to do? Volunteer in the kids or youth ministry? Take in a stranger? Reach out to people you’ve never met?

Prayer Point: Instead of telling God, “No way! I can’t do it,” ask Him if He can do it. (Hint: the answer is always “Yes!”)

Author Bio:

In this world of texts, memes, and emojis, slowing down to truly communicate can feel like straining a muscle you haven’t exercised in far too long.

Seventeen years of business experience across a variety of industries has taught Carrie Del Pizzo the fine art of professional communications.

Partnering with corporate executives and entry-level employees alike, she has written and edited major project proposals, direct marketing pieces, sensitive client communications, employee handbooks, and user manuals.

Carrie’s love of literature and story has led her to develop and exercise her fiction writing skills as well. Aside from her personal creative efforts, she also edits for self- and traditionally-published authors and enjoys writing short dramas for church presentation.

Carrie is a wife, mom of three Americans and host-mom to numerous exchange students. Italian-by-marriage means she loves to cook and eat. She lives in Spokane, Wash., with her hilarious family who keep her in stitches and provides piles of material for great stories.

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