Read: Acts 15:1–35

Therefore I have reached the decision that we should not trouble those Gentiles who are turning to God. Acts 15:19

James, the brother of Jesus, was the leading authority in the church in Jerusalem. He presided over a council that was gathered to decide the expectations that the new Gentile converts were to live by. James’s word would be the final word—a word that would reshape the life and mission of Jesus’ followers forever.

Before James could render faithful judgment, however, he had to engage in careful and deliberate discernment. Silence was kept as testimony was given. Vigorous debate was encouraged. Scripture was consulted. Prayer was central. When trying to determine the mind of God, communal discernment is essential.

How do you make decisions?

Lord, I often make my decisions based on what feels right to me. What does my gut tell me? I might toss in a prayer for good measure after a decision is made. No wonder I have made so many poor choices in the past. I need to learn to listen—to You and to others around me, so that I know what I need to know. In Your name, I pray. AMEN.