I was doing my bible study the other day while the boys were napping and I had an epiphany. My study is in the Book of Acts, which is focused on the beginnings of the Christian church and the disciple Paul’s travels bringing the gospel to other countries. I have read Acts several times and when you read something so often it can become dry and uneventful. But the Book of Acts should be anything but boring. This is the account of how the church got started, about the first believers, and how they worshiped Jesus. Acts is our blueprint of how early Christians saw their faith and how we should see our faith two thousands years later.
The central point of the book is how God advanced His plan for the gospel through evangelism. Paul and his companions spread the gospel to nations near and far, advancing the message and the kingdom of God. Yet it was not just to the Jews that they preached, they preached to the Gentiles as well. Sometimes when you read Acts it can seem that Paul only starts preaching to the Gentiles because of the Jews lack of belief and hostility towards the message. But that is not true. God always wanted non-Jews to be apart of His Kingdom. Jesus spoke to and saved many non-Jews in his ministry and in the Book of Acts God reveals to both the Apostle Peter and Paul that the gospel is for Gentiles as well.
One verse that struck me the deepest was in the old testament, Isaiah 49:6:
“It is too small a thing for you to be My servants to restore the tribes of Jacob and bring back those of Israel I have kept. I will also make you a light for the Gentiles, that you may bring My salvation to the ends of the earth.”
Okay, so here is my epiphany moment: Before Paul and the first Christians, even before Jesus came to earth, God had always planned to bring His salvation to the Gentiles. God loves all of us equally no matter our race, ethnicity or gender. He has a plan, a huge plan that is being accomplished daily even though we don’t see it. He has a plan for every person on this earth: for you, me, your mother, and your cousin, and your next door neighbor. If we believe and follow his ways we can live that plan and see it to fruition.
My epiphany was the importance of looking and considering the big picture, the big plan that God has for my life. Not to dwell on the negative or inconvenient sacrifices I have to make right now. I believe everything comes from; or is allowed by God. Now if that is true when bad things happen it was meant to happen in order to lead me to a new place in the big plan. I should take every negative event in stride knowing God has me in this time and place for a reason, and I should make the most of it while I am here.
Yep, this was a big epiphany and only time will tell if I can back it up with my actions. I hope so.