A very popular DYI TV show is House Hunters. It features people who are looking for that “just right” house. Just right look, just right feel, and just right price. As these, usually married couples, go through the motions of looking at houses shown to them by caring realtors, they all seem to want the same thing. They want a house that supplies all their needs and some wants. Those needs vary from Open Floor Plans, to Big Kitchens (as if people cook) and a big back yard for the kids or the dogs. Expectations are so high when they go to a house and their reaction to the outside is an indication as to whether they will buy it or not. When I first hear their first impression of the outside I start to think “They ain’t gonna buy that one. Sometimes they wind up buying the one they had a bad first impression about.
Which brings us to our Bible lesson today. Peter has been dispatched by some men from Cornelius to come to his house. We pick up the scripture in Acts 10:24-48 where it says that Peter went back to the house of Cornelius with the men he sent and becomes the realtor character. He shares about the new revelation God has just given him and a new word that includes the gospel being given to those from other nations than Israel and he proceeds to tell them about Jesus and the power of the Holy Spirit. Verse 38 “how God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and power.” Peter is telling all the benefits of giving themselves to Jesus and their hearts are receptive. They don’t really even know what they want, but they believe God is speaking to them through Peter. Earlier in the chapter in verse 33 Cornelius says, “Now we are all here in the presence of God to listen to everything the Lord has commanded you to tell us.” Much like the house hunters, they are God hunters and trust that Peter’s message to them is what they are looking for, and by the way, it is. Peter continues on telling all that Jesus did by dying on the cross, being buried in the grave, and then the glorious resurrection. As they are listening to Peter speaking, even before he gets done, they all get saved!!! Wow. Now that is a divine appointment for sure! Some circumcised believers had come with Peter and they were blown away that these Gentiles were also able to receive the Holy Spirit. Then Peter said, “Can anyone keep these people from being baptized with water?” The answer was no!! These Gentile people who were hunting for the answers to their longing, much like house hunters looking for the right house, found what they were looking for and accepted Jesus and were baptized. Peter presented the story of salvation to them and they accepted and were changed forever. This was a precursor to the gospel being presented to all peoples everywhere, and it all started here. Peter was faithful to take the message where God wanted him to take it and the rest is history.
That historical moment is a moment in time that sends a message to each of us who know Jesus. Are we willing to step out of the box we have been so easily put in to take the message of Christ to all who want to hear of the hope of Christ. Or are we afraid these new people will take away our place or position in an organization? Believe it or not, the Jews of the day were totally willing for those Gentiles to go to hell because they didn’t want to get out of their comfort zone to share it with them. Why? Because they didn’t think it was for anyone else but themselves. Which prompts the question. Do we really want new people, who aren’t steeped in our religious garb, to come in to our churches and change how we think? Do we really? And are we willing to think and minister “out of the box” to reach these people? It really comes back to where our hearts are. How many other Cornelius type families are out there ready and willing to hear the gospel and accept Life Change? I don’t think it is by coincidence that we cannot get any believers to go out and witness to the lost from the local church. We may be a little more possessive and selfish with this great hope we have than we realize and that mindset has to change. Time to open up our doors and open up our hearts to God doing “A New Thang!” I want to be a part of that “New Thang.” Don’t you?? @ Corinthians 5:17 – Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behind, new things have come.
The Pilgrimage continues…..