6 The apostles and elders met to consider this question. 7 After much discussion, Peter got up and addressed them: “Brothers, you know that some time ago God made a choice among you that the Gentiles might hear from my lips the message of the gospel and believe. 8 God, who knows the heart, showed that he accepted them by giving the Holy Spirit to them, just as he did to us. 9 He did not discriminate between us and them, for he purified their hearts by faith. 10 Now then, why do you try to test God by putting on the necks of Gentiles a yoke that neither we nor our ancestors have been able to bear? 11 No! We believe it is through the grace of our Lord Jesus that we are saved, just as they are.”
12 The whole assembly became silent as they listened to Barnabas and Paul telling about the signs and wonders God had done among the Gentiles through them. 13 When they finished, James spoke up. “Brothers,” he said, “listen to me. 14 Simon has described to us how God first intervened to choose a people for his name from the Gentiles. 15 The words of the prophets are in agreement with this, as it is written:
16 “ ‘After this I will return
and rebuild David’s fallen tent.
Its ruins I will rebuild,
and I will restore it,
17 that the rest of mankind may seek the Lord,
even all the Gentiles who bear my name,
says the Lord, who does these things’ —
18 things known from long ago. 
What struck me about today’s passage is the notion that God doesn’t always act in the way that we expect Him. In other words, expect the unexpected from God. But what can always be expected is God’s grace.
The issue in today’s text was whether the Gentiles needed to be circumcised. This was a huge part of the life of the people of God, and numerous Old Testament texts could be cited to point out that circumcision was necessary. So you might say that it would be expected that Gentiles coming into the family of believers would need to be circumcised.
But God acted unexpectedly. Peter told about how the Holy Spirit was given to the Gentiles even though they weren’t circumcised. Peter got the point as well. God accepted them through grace, not through the performance of works, either moral or ceremonial. Just like that, God was doing away with circumcision as a necessary part of following him, along with the dietary requirements. Who expected that?
God still works unexpectedly in our lives. We have expectations for how our lives should go, what may be coming, what we are going to do. And then things change, and we may find ourselves in new circumstances, new opportunities, and – if we listen – a new calling from God.
I didn’t expect to be a pastor when I was in engineering school. I didn’t expect to raise my family in California when I was living in Indiana. Those are big items, but each day, God may be leading us, and calling us in unexpected ways. That’s why it’s so important to spend time in the Word and prayer, and asking ourselves those very important Kairos questions: “What is God saying to me? What am I going to do about it?”
But what we can always expect is grace, just as Peter experienced.
So my prayer today is for discernment to follow the will of my Savior, even when He calls me in an unexpected way.
What is the Word leading you to pray about today?
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 The New International Version. (2011). (Ac 15:6–18). Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan.