Crossroads: God Doesn’t Play Favorites

Acts 10:27-36

My Story

As the first girl in the family in 35 years, I was the favorite grandchild. Growing up, my grandmother (Shug) did things for me that she didn’t do for my stepbrother. I lived closer to her than he did, and so we got to do fun things together that she didn’t do with him. Some of my favorite memories include going to get ice cream with her on a hot day, spending summers with her, and “my postman” who brought candy or a dollar bill every day in my mailbox. I was special and I felt loved by my grandmother because I was able to spend more time with her. I knew that I was the favorite (although I never told my stepbrother this!). Now that I am grown, I don’t get to see Shug as often, but we still have a special relationship.

Your Story

Have you been the favorite? Tell your children about a time when you felt like the favorite. How did that feel? Alternatively, tell about a time when you felt like someone else was the favorite. How did that feel?

The Bible Story

“Talking things over, they went on into the house, where Cornelius introduced Peter to everyone who had come [to see Peter]. Peter addressed them, ‘You know, I’m sure that this is highly irregular. Jews just don’t do this—visit and relax with people of another race. But God has just shown me that no race is better than any other. So the minute I was sent for, I came, no questions asked. But now I’d like to know why you sent for me.’ Cornelius said, ‘Four days ago at about this time, midafternoon, I was home praying. Suddenly there was a man right in front of me, flooding the room with light. He said, ‘Cornelius, your daily prayers and neighborly acts have brought you to God’s attention. I want you to send to Joppa to get Simon, the one they call Peter. He’s staying with Simon the Tanner down by the sea.’ ‘So I did it—I sent for you. And you’ve been good enough to come. And now we’re all here in God’s presence, ready to listen to whatever the Master put in your heart to tell us.’ Peter fairly exploded with this good news: ‘It’s God’s own truth, nothing could be plainer: God plays no favorites! It makes no difference who you are or where you’re from—if you want God and are ready to do as he says, the door is open. The Message he sent to the children of Israel—that through Jesus Christ everything is being put together again—well, he’s doing it everywhere, among everyone.’” Acts 10:27-36, The Message

Up to this point in the Bible, Peter felt like the message of Jesus as Messiah was just for the Jews. Since Jesus was a Jew and the Jews had been waiting for the Messiah, Peter had a hard time understanding that the Message of hope could be for more people than just the Jews. So God sent a dream; in that dream, Peter saw all of the things the Jews considered unclean. God told Peter to eat the food that had been considered unclean. Through this dream and the message thereafter, Peter realized that God doesn’t play favorites, that we are all God’s children and that God loves every one of us! The people no longer had to be separated into Jews and Gentiles, because in God’s eyes, they were His children and they were special. We are all God’s children, and that makes all of us special.

Discussion

• Ask your children if there is someone in their lives who doesn’t feel special (Perhaps this child doesn’t have many friends or dresses funny.)
• Talk about ways to tell other people how special they are to God

Prayer

Thank God that we are all special to our Creator. Ask God to show your family ways to help others see how special they are to God.

Action

Talk to someone this week that nobody really seems to talk to. Sit with them at lunch or on the bus. Talk to an elderly neighbor, etc. Find ways this week to show others that God doesn’t play favorites, that they are special too.

Jessica Asbell is currently serving as the Minister to Children at First Baptist Church of Roswell, GA. She has worked with children in various capacities at several churches, including Winter Park Baptist in Wilmington, NC, First Baptist of Decatur, GA, and Highland Hills Baptist in Macon, GA. She has a Master of Divinity from McAfee School of Theology and a BBA from Mercer University. In her spare time she loves to read, watch movies, and of course spend time with her sweet kitty, Lucy.

Kevin Head began serving as Minister to Young Families at First Baptist Roswell, Georgia, in February 2012. He has pastored three churches in Kentucky and more recently served as Senior Pastor of First Baptist Church, Lumberton, North Carolina. In 2007, Kevin and his wife, Amy, began a ministry-based counseling practice called New Perspectives for Life in East Cobb, Georgia. He is a graduate of Furman University (B.A.) and the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary (Ph.D., M.Div.) in Louisville, Kentucky. Kevin was ordained by the First Baptist Church of Belvedere, South Carolina. His model of ministry is based on John 8 and the amazing, continual grace of Jesus Christ. Kevin and Amy have two children, Jenna and Joshua.

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