At times it seems as if life is composed of a series of delicate moments. One such delicate moment in the New Testament occurred in Acts 10 when the Jewish Christian Peter was directed by God to teach the God-fearing Gentile, Cornelius. What Peter did was unheard of among Christians at that point. A Jewish Christian teaching a Gentile who was not even a Jewish convert? No way! That could not reflect God's concern! Yet, it did. God unquestionably directed Peter to extend the kindness of God's grace to Cornelius. It took a lot to convince Peter that he should do this unthinkable deed!

How did Peter handle this delicate moment? How did he introduce this Gentile to the Jewish Messiah? Basically Peter said two things. The first dealt as much with Peter's realization as with Cornelius' realization. "I now understand that God is equally concerned about everyone's salvation." The second dealt with Cornelius' understanding. "You already know two things about Jesus from Nazareth. First, the Holy Spirit and his power verified God anointed him. Second, you know he went about doing good and healing people."

"Doing good" and helping people are huge on God's priority list for godly people. Few statements emphasized this as dramatically as did Jesus' judgment scene in Matthew 25:31-46. The difference between the accepted and rejected was the way they responded to people who were in need. Jesus' emphasis was not held by many of his own people. Because he was committed to doing good to people, many affirmed he was a "good man," but many also declared he was a bad man because "he leads the people astray" (John 7:12). Doing good to those in need not always is welcomed--not even for Jesus!

This coming Sunday evening, immediately after our worship (about 7 p.m.) representatives from the Good Samaritan Clinic will inform those interested about the opening (in the near future) of a clinic for uninsured and underinsured in Fort Smith. A broad group of doctors, nurses, and interested individuals who are a part of those who believe Jesus is the Christ will provide quality, compassionate, affordable medical care which will include the elderly and the homeless. Those responding to our outreach called The Way directly will benefit from this new medical service.

Those interested in knowing more about the clinic or volunteering to work with the clinic are encouraged to stay next Sunday evening. The presentation will occur immediately after our worship assembly.

David Chadwell

West-Ark Church of Christ, Fort Smith, AR
Bulletin Article, 6 April 2003

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