Acts 15: Necessary Things
Acts 15:19-20: Therefore in my judgement, we should not cause difficulties for those among the Gentiles who turn to God, but instead we should write to them to abstain from things polluted by idols, from sexual immorality, from eating anything that has been strangled, and from blood.
I am grateful for the Jerusalem council and James’ words at it. The decision of the council meant that the Gentiles did not have to follow Jewish laws to serve Jesus. The council tried to make the burden on the Gentiles as light as possible. Following Jesus is not a burden, but a joy.
Jesus invites us to walk with him. God’s yoke is easy and his burden is light. Jesus said these words, which are recorded in Matthew 11:28-30: “Come to Me, all of you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. All of you, take up My yoke and learn from Me, because I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for yourselves. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.”
We can walk yoked with Jesus, knowing that He is the One carrying the weight of the yoke. His burden on us is light.
Yet, there are things that the early apostles considered necessary. They listed four things, which are stated in the scripture above. Many versions of the Bible say that to abstain from things polluted by idols meant not to eat food that had been offered to idols. Most Christians would never consider offering their food to idols, but idols can come into our life in subtle ways. I play computer solitaire and other games are promoted. Some of those games seem innocent: trying to match three of the same objects in our row to advance in the game and get to the next level of the story. Yet, some of those games have talismans, (an object that is supposed to bring good luck) or rewards that include building idols. I have thought about these games, and consider them unnecessary in my life. They take time that can be spent in better ways.
Prayer: Father, help me to discern between necessary things and unnecessary things in my life. Help me to do more and more of what pleases you. Help me to manage my time more wisely. Amen.
CC: K Carswell 2022
Unless otherwise noted, all Scripture quotations are taken from the Holman Christian Standard Bible, Copyright 1999, 2000, 2002, 2003, 2009 by Holman Bible Publishers. Used by Permission. Holman Christian Standard Bible, Holman CSB and HCSB are federally registered trademarks of Holman Bible Publishers.