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All Issues > Volume 22, Issue 3

<< Friday, May 19, 2006 >>
Acts 15:22-31
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Psalm 57 John 15:12-17
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"It is the decision of the Holy Spirit, and ours too, not to lay on you any burden beyond that which is strictly necessary." —Acts 15:28

The elders of the church of Jerusalem and the Holy Spirit decided Gentile Christians did not need to be circumcised, but rather had to change their lifestyle, "namely, to abstain from meat sacrificed to idols, from blood, from the meat of strangled animals, and from illicit sexual union" (Acts 15:29). Meat sacrificed to idols was a major item in the marketplace. Therefore, to abstain from this was, in part, an economic decision. The Gentiles were also told to change their eating habits and their attitude toward sexual relations. In other words, the Gentiles were required to make lifestyle changes in the areas of money, food, and sex. This is comparable to telling a modern person, even a Christian, to stop buying certain foods, to quit eating meat or drinking caffeine, and to quit watching prime time TV with its pornographic innuendoes.

When the letter containing these rules was read, "there was great delight at the encouragement it gave" (Acts 15:31). If a similar letter requiring lifestyle changes was read at your church, would the people be delighted or defiant? Lifestyle is the false god of the modern American church. Our comforts, pleasure, and entertainment mean more to us than loving God. That's where our time and money goes, and God gets the leftovers, if there are any. Repent!

Prayer: Risen Jesus, may I repent of living for selfish pleasure.
Promise: "This is My commandment: love one another as I have loved you." —Jn 15:12
Praise: Once drawn toward late night TV, Linda noticed that when she started serving the Lord, her life was so full there was no time for TV.
(For a related teaching, order our tape on Following the World (Spiritual Adultery) on audio AV 53-1 or video V-53.)
Rescript: In accord with the Code of Canon Law, I hereby grant the Imprimatur ("Permission to Publish") for One Bread, One Body covering the period from April 1, 2006 through May 31, 2006.
†Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, October 27, 2005.
The Imprimatur ("Permission to Publish") is a declaration that a book or pamphlet is considered to be free of doctrinal or moral error. It is not implied that those who have granted the Imprimatur agree with the contents, opinions, or statements expressed.
Volume 22, Issue 3
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