Date: Wednesday, July 10
Scripture: Acts 10:1-16
Verse: The voice said to him again, a second time, “What God has made clean, you must not call profane.” (Acts 10:15)
Rules are good and helpful. They make games playable, traffic a little more bearable, and help us all get along at work, school, and anywhere else we spend a good deal of time. Rules help us work together, keep us on track with a task, and can even help us grow in our spiritual lives. If you have taken our Blueprint for Discipleship class you know about John Wesley’s three simple rules for spiritual growth: (1) do no harm, (2) do all the good you can, and (3) keep working your spiritual practices (church, prayer, Bible reading, devotions, etc.).
Some of us though can become sticklers for the rules. We can become so caught up in the rules, we forget why they were originally adopted. We follow the rules because we are supposed to, but seldom do they then lead us to the desired goal, be it spiritual growth, getting along at work, or helping everyone learn at school. We all know those who set themselves up as the rule police making sure everyone obeys, even if the rule doesn’t quite apply to the current situation.
In our spiritual lives, following the rules can help us feel smug or complacent in our relationship with God. Rules, which are intended to help us draw closer to God, can instead become an end in themselves. We can even begin to divide people up between the rule-followers and those who are more lax with the rules. Peter’s vision about eating kosher flies in the face of the rules, but is a means of God reminding the early church that people are more important than rules.
Prayer: Show me your ways, O God, that I might grow in my relationship with you. Amen.
Action: Notice the rules, written and unwritten, you are expected to follow.
Respond: What is a rule or law whose origin you would like to know? Answer by clicking “Leave a Comment” below. If you are receiving this via email, click the title at the top of the email to take you to the devotion webpage where you can leave a comment.