READ: Acts 10:1-11:18 (esp., v10:34-48)
- Lots of listening and responding take place in this text. Cornelius hears and responds. Peter hears and responds. Cornelius and his household hear and respond. The Jerusalem church hears and responds. It seems to be the nature of what must occur here. And Peter captures it well in v10:34 when he says, in essence, “I get it. God does not restrict the gospel from anyone.” Peter’s evidence is not merely his vision, but the actions of Jesus.
- But we also see that God hears and responds. He hears the prayers and generosity of Cornelius and honors him with an angelic visit. He hears the message of Peter and in the midst of this new venture, the Gentiles coming to faith, He repeats Acts 2. The Holy Spirit arrives and people speak in languages they’ve not heard.
- When that happens, two more responses occur. Peter responds by recognizing he can’t withhold baptism from anyone. And Cornelius (and his household) responded with a faithful desire to identify with Jesus’ death and resurrection. Hear and respond—implying that the response is positive. Lots of people hear and respond—but their response is to say “no” to God’s call. That’s not the response for which God is looking.
- Describe the last response you made to hearing from God.
- What is God calling you to do and you are (so far) refusing to do?
- Why do people struggle to respond to God in a positive way?
PRAY: Thank God for His patient calling. Pray for an open heart and ears to Him. Commit to doing what you are learning from Him.