Wednesday, October 11
And I remembered the word of the Lord, how He used to say, “John baptized with water, but you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit.’ Therefore if God gave to them the same gift as He gave to us also after believing in the Lord Jesus Christ, who was I that I could stand in God’s way?
The book of Acts is structured around chapter one, verse eight which is a command of Christ that the good news of God’s grace be preached from Jerusalem, to Judea, Samaria and to the outermost parts of the world. In chapter two, we see the Holy Spirit descending upon the disciples and they even gain the ability to speak in new tongues the praise of God. God used this as a sign in the early church; affirming His presence and His purpose to save. In our passage today, God asks Simon Peter to share the Gospel with a Gentile. Being a Jew, Peter was hesitant but God appeared to him in a vision and instructed him to visit the home of a devout gentile (i.e., non-Jewish) man, Cornelius.
Upon arriving at Cornelius’ house, Peter shares the good news about Christ and suddenly the Holy Spirit comes down upon the gentiles and they too speak in new tongues; glorifying God. Remember the sign? It is no wonder that in recounting this episode, Peter tells his fellow Jewish believers back in Jerusalem, “I remembered the word of the Lord, how He used to say, ‘John baptized with water, but you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit.’ Therefore if God gave to them the same gift as He gave to us also after believing in the Lord Jesus Christ, who was I that I could stand in God’s way?” Peter understood that God was giving the gift of the Spirit to the gentiles as a sign that they too had received the gift of God’s grace; just like the Jewish believers of Jerusalem.
Dear Lord, just like You did for Peter, please teach me to never stand in the way of what You are giving to Your people. Help me, instead, to always seek to be Your channel; to give Your grace to others. In Christ’s name, Amen.
Like Peter, try to never interrupt what God is doing as He gives life and grace through you. Beginning today, would you seek to know daily what God wants to GIVE to others through you? It may be your time, your money, your ear, your prayer – whatever it is… GIVE in a new way today.