God, if you're there...
Have you ever thought- God’s not listening to me. I’m just talking to an empty space. I’ve prayed the same prayer for years and nothing happens.? Even if it’s just a fleeting moment that we shake off, these thoughts happen to most of us.
This upcoming Sunday, we’ll focus on Acts 10 together. It starts with an Italian man named Cornelius who gave gifts of charity to the Jews faithfully and continually prayed to God. I picture a short-statured older Italian guy with a beard and a prominent nose, perhaps a thick Long Island accent. Can you see him, too?
Around 3 o’clock in the afternoon, an angel showed up and told Cornelius that his prayers and gifts reached God. The angel told him to send some men to a beach house in Joppa to find Peter. Something big was about to happen. His continuous prayers finally moved something.
Peter also had a vision the following day and was perplexed by it until he got the chance to speak to Cornelius and those present to listen. Peter talked about what he knew of Jesus’ life, death, and resurrection. Peter explained “of Him all the prophets bear witness that through His name everyone who believes in Him receives forgiveness of sins.” (verse 43) And right then, as the words fell out of Peter’s mouth, “the Holy Spirit fell upon those who were listening to the message.” (verse 44) Peter then said. “Surely no one can refuse the water for these to be baptized who have received the Holy Spirit just as we did, can he?”
Can you see all the little Italians filled with the Holy Spirit and getting baptized? Can you picture Cornelius finally hearing about forgiveness and freedom found in the God of the Jews who he had faithfully given to all these years? Can you feel the weight lifted off their shoulders when they experienced the Holy Spirit who wasn’t just meant for the Jews, but for all who believe?
If no one else has told you today, God is listening. God hears your prayers and sees your gifts that you pour out every day. The Holy Spirit’s moving. Keep talking.