“Then Peter began to speak: ‘I now realize how true it is that God does not show favoritism but accepts from every nation the one who fears him and does what is right.'” (Acts 10:34-35, NIV)

As Peter was before his vision (please see Acts 10:9ff), we prefer people we like; and we like people like us. This is our nature apart from God, and it is the starting point of racism, sexism, nationalism, and all other preferences based on outward appearances and other superficial aspects. 

When we begin to see people as God sees people, we will be humbled by how often our personal preferences are tied to the most superficial human qualities.  We will also be amazed at how often the persons accepted by God are 180 degrees out from us in physical appearance, cultural background, native language, and national origin.

God commands us to be like Him: Accepting of every person (nationality, race, culture, gender) “who fears Him and does what is right.”  – Luther

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“One who is gracious to a poor man lends to the Lord; and He will repay him for his good deed. (Proverbs 19:17, NASB)

We would never think it necessary to lend money to Warren Buffet or to Bill Gates.  Each is worth billions of dollars and, I presume, have few (if any) creditors.

God has more than Gates and Buffet — combined!  The scripture tells us that when we are gracious to the pauper, we are lending to God; and God will repay us — one and all — for our good deed.   

Imagine what it must feel like to be a creditor of the Almighty.  Imagine what it must feel like to receive His re-payment.  We can experience both every time we are gracious to the lost, the last, and the least among us.  – Luther

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“There is a path before each person that seems right, but it ends in death.” (Proverbs 16:25, NLT)

“It seemed like a good idea at the time.” 

How many times have we heard (or even spoken) those words?  

Maybe we didn’t know any better. Or, maybe we knew the possible consequences of the short-cut we had chosen, but proceeded anyway thinking that no one would notice — or care.

Proverbs tells us that some decisions — even apparent “sure-fire” decisions — lead to death.  Death comes to childhood dreams because of adolescent indiscretions.  Death overtakes the prospects of a bright career because of poor choices during the young worker’s “salad days.” One dies spiritually when he or she trades a season of prosperity for an eternity of poverty.

There, however, is wisdom on this path: Obedience to God’s word leads to life.  – Luther

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