Acts 10:15 “What God has made clean, do not call common.”

So I’ve been absent the last few days or so because it’s finals crunch and I have some big papers to write before Friday. However, I was writing one of my papers due last week on Peter’s speech in Acts 10, when this one word grabbed me. I have tried to wait to write this post until after final’s are over (because truly I should be writing my 5000 word paper… but I’m not :-P) but this word is just on repeat in my brain. This beautiful word from Acts 10:15 and its implications have had me praising God day and night for his incredible glory. Go read Acts 10. All of it. I know, it’s a lot, but Oh, what an incredible story!!!!!! This chapter is so full of supernatural intervention that it boggles my mind; it shows how important God thought this message way to the early church. Go read it!!

Isn’t it beautiful? This is the “Gentile Pentecost.” This is not necessarily the first Gentile conversion (see Acts 8), but it is definitely the first time that Peter understands God’s will for Christianity and that it be opened to the rest of the world. God tried to do this in chapter 8, but the apostles were resistant to the idea that even the Gentiles should be welcome into the family of Christ; so He sent angels, visions, and words from the Spirit to make sure that they got the message this time.

In 10:9 Peter goes up to the rooftop to pray but then he gets hungry. While he is sitting there hungry, waiting for his food, God sends him this vision of all sorts of animals, birds, and reptiles and tells him to pick some and eat. But Peter, like the good Law-abiding Jew that he was, is shocked and tells God “NO!” I can just hear the shock and offense in his voice. Like, “God! What?! I’m not eating that! It’s dirty!!” (It kind of sounds like my children when I cook something they find abhorrent :-P) But God tells him – “What God has made clean, do not call common.”

Eventually Peter understands that this vision isn’t just about food – the first and most important meaning is symbolic. It’s about mankind. The Jewish people believed that the Gentiles, or the non-Jewish people, were unclean because of the food they ate and the gods they worshiped. God was telling Peter that He shows no partiality among mankind; God loves all people of every nation, every tongue, every background. He shows no preference, no partiality, but loves all equally and desires an intimate relationship with all.

As incredible as that is all by itself, that is not my message today. I want to talk about God’s message to Peter: What God has made clean, do not call common.

These words in Greek are so heavy! The Jews believed the Gentiles were “common.” This word is κοινόϛ (koinos) and means common in a sense that it is set apart from the consecrated or holy; in secular Greek it referred to something that had little value. God had told the Jews that they were set apart for Him, so they believed that the Gentiles were common. As for the Greeks, they associated “common” with “having little value.” Don’t we do the same? We look at ourselves or others and judge. We judge ourselves for our past and see ourselves as having little value; of not being worthy to be in the presence of the Holy One. We judge others and think, “they couldn’t possibly be Christian.” But. God says, What God has made clean, do not call common.

See, this word, this beautiful word, “clean,” in Greek is καθαριζω (katharizo). The definition for this word is, “a physical, religious, and moral cleanness or purity in such senses as clean, free from stains or shame, and free from adulteration (TDNT, 381).” What God has made clean, do not call common. God has cleansed us; He has cleansed us from all amorality, all shame, all adulteration. He has cleansed us from all our bad choices, all our impure thoughts, all our judgments. I keep seeing a vision of myself in front of a mirror, standing there cloaked in mud – it is dripping from my clothes, my hair, my dirty face; this is me before God. After I made Him the Lord over my life, there is a completely different me standing in front of that mirror. Now I see myself in pure white, glowing with radiance that only the indwelling of the Spirit can give. Each of us that follow Christ have the same reflection; we are each clothed in pure white, having been bathed with the blood of Christ, glowing with God’s radiance.

I took so long to see that God is bigger than all my past sins (and my present and future ones too). In my head, I believed, but in my heart I could not understand. My sins seemed so big, so ugly, so deep that I could not grasp that God was bigger. But Praise Him, He is! And He is far bigger than your sin, too. He has made you katharizo, so that you have been physically, religiously, morally cleansed so that you are now consecrated, pure, and holy in the eyes of your Savior, your Creator.

Have faith, Beloved, God shows no partiality, but lavishes us in His love. He has already cleansed us so that we can be with Him; He loves YOU so incredibly much that He wants to be in your presence day and night, through the good and the bad. He made you holy so that you could live with Him for eternity. Has there ever been or ever will be a love like His? Run to Him today, for He has set you apart and made you clean.

Lord God, you see. You know our fears, our feelings of inadequacy and you understand our hearts. I pray that you give each of us eyes to see ourselves as you see us; radiant in purity, beautiful in holiness. Pour your love into our hearts, so that we feel the depth of love you have for us and wrap us in your peace and joy today. Give us eyes to see others as you see them and love them as you do. Thank you for your grace and mercy, Lord. You astound us. You bewilder us. Thank you. In your Precious and Holy Name, Amen.

“He calls them each by name”

Have you ever had that moment when things are suddenly put into perspective and you realize how incredibly small you really are? Like when you watch a video like this?

I mean. Come on! Can you even comprehend the HUGENESS of the universe, and the complete minutia of our little lives in it? I know it absolutely boggles my mind. We are most definitely not the center of any universe, but there is a God in heaven who is! He is both the center of it – the point about which every single thing in the universe revolves – and the beginning of it and the end. The Alpha and Omega of every speck of matter in all of creation. Even more boggling, He knows each person, every creature, each star intimately. Psalm 147:4 says, “He determines the number of the stars and calls them each by name.” I am in such awe, as I write this with tears in my eyes just at the mere fact that He calls me by name as well. Isaiah 43:1 tells us what God told Jacob, “But now thus says the LORD, he who created you, O Jacob, he who formed you, O Israel: “Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name, you are mine.” Please insert your name here:
But now says the LORD, He who created you, O _________, He who formed you, O______: “Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name, you are Mine.”

God formed us with infinitely more care than the stars, He knit us together in our mothers’ wombs (Jeremiah 1:5), He chose us and planned for us before earth’s foundations were laid (Eph 1:4). I love this verse, it has been a favorite of mine since the beginning of my walk with Christ – one of the first He led me to read:

Psalm 8:3-5

When I look at your heavens, the work of your fingers,
    the moon and the stars, which you have set in place,

what is man that you are mindful of him,
    and the son of man that you care for him?

Yet you have made him a little lower than the heavenly beings
    and crowned him with glory and honor.

See, Beloved, God made all these things – these huge and wonderful things for us. He created the most incredible artwork for us to gaze upon and to know Him in His most revealing beauty, He wanted to give us a piece of Himself and so He created the moon and the stars. He wants us to look up and marvel at His glory, at the beauty He made for us. He wants us to see the world He created for us and to know of His incredible love for us. See, the God that made each star, each moon, each planet, is the same God that made each blade of grass, each beautiful butterfly, and each perfectly made person.

Not only is He master of every galaxy in creation, but He’s master of every situation you will ever find yourself in. Not only does God concern Himself with the rotation of the earth around the sun, but He concerns Himself with the minute details of your life.

YOUR PAST

YOUR DEPRESSION

YOUR PAIN

YOUR HATE

YOUR ANGER

YOUR DOUBT

YOUR FEAR

YOUR SHAME

YOUR EATING DISORDER

YOUR SELF HARM

YOUR ANXIETY

YOUR LONELINESS

YOUR SCARS

YOUR ADDICTIONS

Not only is God concerned with all of it – He is BIGGER than all of it. There are always excuses that we make for not reaching out to God; typically, it has to do with the negativity we feel about ourselves. What is keeping you from God today? Trust me in this, I’ve been in a lot of ugly situations in my life and if He can conquer my ugliness, Beloved, He can conquer yours. God is bigger than any problem you may have – any addiction, any immorality, any shame, any fear. He is bigger, and He will give you victory over all of it!!!

Deuteronomy 20:4 says, “for the LORD your God is he who goes with you to fight for you against your enemies, to give you the victory.”

No only does He fight for you, Beloved, in any trial, but He is going before you – He has already given you the victory! You just have to reach for Him and take it. ❤ Give Him your battle today and let Him give you victory. Amen.

Create a website or blog at WordPress.com

Up ↑