Our Daily Bread Devotional For July 9, 2024 : Topic – Do I Belong?

Our Daily Bread Devotional For July 9, 2024 : Topic – Do I Belong?

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Bible in a Year :

What can stand in the way of my being baptized?

Today’s Scripture : Acts 8:29-39

Insight

Eunuchs were men—usually castrated—who served as officials in a royal court. Both Greeks and Jews often looked down on eunuchs; Greeks sometimes mocked them as “half-men,” while Jews might disdain them for their inability to produce heirs and because the law of Moses excluded them from entering “the assembly of the Lord” (Deuteronomy 23:1). However, the prophet Isaiah spoke of God’s full acceptance of eunuchs and foreigners who sincerely worshiped and sought Him (Isaiah 56:3-8). In baptizing the eunuch in Acts 8:26-39, Philip affirmed that this man was fully included and embraced in the family of God.

Message : Actress Sally Field finally felt what we all long for. When she won a second Oscar in 1985, she exclaimed in her acceptance speech: “I’ve wanted more than anything to have your respect. The first time I didn’t feel it. But this time I feel it. And I can’t deny the fact that you like me, right now, you like me.”

An Ethiopian eunuch was also amazed by his acceptance. As a gentile and as a eunuch, he was denied entrance into the temple’s inner courts (see Ephesians 2:11-12Deuteronomy 23:1). Yet he yearned to be included. Philip found him returning from another unsatisfying pilgrimage to Jerusalem (Acts 8:27).

The Ethiopian man was reading Isaiah, which promised that eunuchs who “hold fast to my covenant” will receive “within my temple and its walls a memorial and . . . an everlasting name” (Isaiah 56:4-5). How could this be? Then Philip “told him the good news about Jesus,” and the man responded, “Look, here is water. What can stand in the way of my being baptized?” (Acts 8:35-36).

He was asking, Am I really allowed in? Do I belong? Philip baptized him as a sign that Jesus had bulldozed every barrier (Ephesians 2:14). Jesus embraces—and unites—everyone who turns from sin and puts their trust in Him. The man “went on his way rejoicing” (Acts 8:39). He finally and fully belonged.

By:  Mike Wittmer

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