Job 20-21 Acts 10:24-48
“While Peter was still saying this, the Holy Spirit came down on all those who were listening. The Jewish believers who came with Peter were amazed that the gift of the Holy Spirit had been given even to the nations.” (Acts 10:44-45 NCV)
Peter knew the gospel was supposed to spread to the ends of the earth. When summoned to see Cornelius, he went and even brought an entourage with him. He mentioned the vision which gave him the courage to go to Cornelius. Then he asked what might be the dumbest question in the history of the church: “Why’d you send for me?” Excuse me for saying this, but sometimes I think Jesus called him Peter because he was such a rock head. Once Peter understood that he was to proclaim the gospel to these gentiles, though, he got going. He reminded them that they knew everything that had happened and then noted that all who believe in Jesus will be forgiven. Then all heaven broke loose as the Holy Spirit filled the room coming down on everyone who was there. Peter and his entourage were amazed that the Holy Spirit would go to the gentiles. But the proof was there in front of them.
Sometimes I’m pretty bright and I figure out right away what God wants me to do. Other times, I’m like Peter, no, worse because I don’t ask questions like “Why’d you want me here?” I might make small talk, but completely miss the truth that God had called me to a place and a group of people to share His love. Peter might have a better excuse. He knew that the Jews were God’s chosen people and, in spite of Jesus talking about the gospel going to the whole world, only Jews could be forgiven by God. I don’t have that excuse. I’ve read the Bible. I know that God has made His Holy Spirit available to all people and that when they commit their lives to Jesus, He’ll come into them and cleanse them. He’ll forgive their sins. He will restore their relationship with God. The hardest thing for the Jews in the early church days to believe was that God loves the gentiles too. I’ve never had that barrier in front of me. I’ve never believed that there was anyone that God doesn’t love. I’ve seen His love shown on different continents as I’ve traveled. My barrier comes when I fail to realize that God’s purpose for me wherever I am is to share the good news that there is forgiveness and salvation in Jesus Christ. I shrink from opportunities to let people know about God’s love because I think, for some reason, that they won’t be open to it. Then I read stories like this and am reminded that God’s love is so beautiful that I must share the story of His amazing salvation. Lord, give me the courage to share Your love at any time.
God, there are so many people who need to know about Your love for them. Help me to share – especially when I would normally shrink back.
Scripture taken from the New Century Version®. Copyright © 2005 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved