The Race Card in the Book of Acts is a series of blogs which highlights the apostle’s journey to include all nationalities into the church of God. The series will follow the historical outline as captured by the author of Acts, Dr. Luke. We will address topics of inclusion, exclusion, favoritism, cultural differences and God’s heart for all nations. The Bible speaks to all heart issues…so let’s get started.

But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” Acts 1:8 NIV

I have had the privilege to visit 6 of the 7 continents in the world for various spiritual activities. Just writing that sentence makes me feel humbled and saddened. Did I do all that I could have to re-represent Jesus in every one of those towns and countries? Jesus gave me the opportunities to go the uttermost, what imprint did I leave?

From the very beginning, God’s heart was for all nations, all people, all tribes, and every tongue to hear the good news of reconciliation to Him through Jesus. Jesus laid out the strategy and scope of the gospel presentation in Acts 1:8. The pattern has been captured in the Book of Acts to show how the disciples followed the strategy which Jesus gave.

The gospel started from and to the Jews. In Genesis 12 God told Abram he would be blessed and all peoples on earth will be blessed through you.” I had a Chinese friend ask me once, “Why the Jews? Why did God pick them from all other nations in the world?” It starts with Abraham. God found faith in Abram and promised his seed would impact the entire world…God fulfilled that promise in Jesus being in the lineage of Abram.

Paul summarized the message of God loving all nations even more, to the Jew first and then to the gentile. It is important to note,Jesus has no favorites, for we are all of God’s children. Like James and John, once we are chosen we have a tendency to think more highly of ourselves than others.  Remember they asked Jesus if they could sit at his right and left hand. They wanted to be the favored ones. Even the other disciples recognized what James and John were trying to do. In my travels, I find that each group likes to believe the next great move of God will come through their church, denomination, city, state, country or people group. I pray that God would move toward revival in people who are hungry for Him to move on whomever He chooses.

The reality for the American church is for the most part we are all gentiles – the ends of the earth category of followers of Jesus. We are not the new Israel. It is true, we have experienced much of God’s favored status of wealth and prosperity. May we always remember, we are indebted to the Jews first and to all others who shared the gospel beyond their borders. Someone shared the gospel with us. To whom much is given, much will be required, may we steward well what God has entrusted to us

All Lives Matter according to Acts 1:8 and YOU Matter according to Acts 2:38-39 Peter replied, “Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. 39 The promise is for you and your children and for all who are far off—for all whom the Lord our God will call.” Underline is my addition.

The gospel strategy Jesus laid out for us was the Jew first, Judea, then Samaria and then the ends of the earth.  The body of Christ is still reaching into the ends of the earth to reach every language people group with the message of Jesus.

Jesus outlined His expectation for us…to be witnesses. Our number one responsibility is to share with others what we have seen, heard and experienced in our relationship with Jesus. If they haven’t heard, how will they believe? Who will you tell? How often will you share? Boldness has been granted through the Holy Spirit, we no longer have to fear or be ashamed to share the good news of the love of Jesus to forgive our sins.

The initial Race Card is that Jesus loves all of us equally. No people group is more worthy, more favored, more needy, no better or worse than any other group in relation to God’s love for the world. Jesus’ death on the cross was for all confess and believe that He is God. Racial reconciliation starts with reconciling with God first, 2 Cor. 5:21.

Next week we will address favoritism and inequality in the church. For now, be a bold witness to ALL people.

Blessings Love y’all