Tuesday, July 11, 2023

            Through the first dozen chapters of Acts, we can observe Peter’s growth as an apostle and a follower of Christ. He came a long way from his days as a fisherman and an impulsive and often demanding presence among the disciples. He demonstrated
spiritual maturity and a keen awareness of God’s work in the world. In Acts 10, he presented the gospel in the home of Cornelius. As he was preaching, the Holy Spirit entered both the room and those Gentiles who were listening to Peter. Acts recorded the moment in this way, “While Peter was still speaking these words, the Holy Spirit came on all who heard the message. The circumcised believers who had come with
Peter were astonished that the gift of the Holy Spirit had been poured out even on Gentiles. For they heard them speaking in tongues and praising God” (Acts 10:44-46).
            I am sure Peter was amazed to see the saving power of the gospel and the Holy Spirit filling his Gentile audience. That would have been terribly hard for him to have imagined just a few years earlier. But this event reminds us that God is without limits and boundaries. He can save anyone, anywhere at any time. The circumstances that we might write off as hopeless could well be where we see God do some of His finest work. God heals. God forgives. God makes people whole. We also stand amazed at how God used Peter in this Gentile home. This apostle knew the history and tension that existed between Jews and Gentiles. Yet, he was willing to be used by God in this most unexpected way.
            We never want to close our lives to what God might elect to do in and through us. God often works through His people to reach others that He would like to bring into the family and kingdom. In his own words, Peter summarized what God did in the home of Cornelius. The Bible says, “’Surely no one can stand in the way of their being baptized with water. They have received the Holy Spirit just as we have.’ So, he ordered that they be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ. Then they asked Peter to stay with them for a few days” (Acts 10:47-48). Peter’s words remind us of some important truths.
            First, no one can oppose God successfully. God is God. And God always triumphs. His will is perfect and always comes to pass. We can resist God and even reject His offer to enjoy fellowship with Him, but we can never thwart His divine purposes. He knew that salvation would come to the Gentiles. Such a gift was His plan all along—from before the foundations of the earth! Peter simply affirmed what God had chosen to do.
            Second, we want to be participants in God’s work and not opponents. We want to join with Him where He is at work. Peter showed great faith by going to the home of Cornelius. He did not yet know the outcome, but he trusted God enough to say “yes” to
God’s direction. We often find ourselves with a chance to say “yes” to God in the course of daily life. We can say “yes” when God nudges us to share our faith, speak about the gospel or to pray in a situation we are facing. God may call us to break down walls we
have put up that have no place. God may lead us to build healthy boundaries around our lives, home and family. Wherever God may lead us, we can trust that the destination is a
good one.
            Third, when God leads us to do something, we want to act quickly and immediately. There is no need to delay what we clearly know that God is leading us to do. God’s timing is perfect. Unlike any human, He can see the present and future perfectly.  Our obedience to God could be a very valuable link or step in the work that God wants to do. And we receive a blessing too when we serve the Lord with haste and devotion. Peter did not delay going to Cornelius’ home. May we seize the moments and
opportunities that God gives to us. Have a great Tuesday. Remember you can worship any time at YouTube.com/FirstBaptistKannapolis.

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