34 Then Peter began to speak: “I now realize how true it is that God does not show favoritism 35 but accepts from every nation the one who fears him and does what is right. 36 You know the message God sent to the people of Israel, announcing the good news of peace through Jesus Christ, who is Lord of all.—Acts 10:34-36 NIV
Just as Peter had to be shown that Gentiles were not “unclean” in the sight of God, we sometimes need to be taught that same lesson. We are all “unclean” in the sense that we are sinful, but the reference here is whether or not we are worthy of consideration for the gospel. Peter was speaking about nations, but let’s bring that down to groups and even further, let’s bring it down to individuals. How many times have we felt the nudge to speak to someone about the message of Jesus Christ and we have not been obedient? Have we not, in that instance, said “No, Lord, they are unclean.”? Reread verse 36, it says “through Jesus Christ, who is Lord of all”. God has already decided that He wants everyone to hear the gospel.
3 This is good, and pleases God our Savior, 4 who wants all people to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth.–1 Timothy 2:3,4 NIV
We need to pray that God will release us from the fear of rejection and failure, so that we can witness to those He puts in our path each day. It helps to remember that we are not responsible for the outcome, we are only responsible to God to be obedient to the leadership of the Holy Spirit. Our success in witnessing is determined by our obedience, not by the final results. We obey, God takes care of the rest.
“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” – Anonymous
Lazarus was wrapped head to toe with graveclothes and a headcloth, yet, when Jesus called him out, he came forth. Not walking or seeing, but transported by the power of the words that Jesus had spoken. Regardless of how seemingly impossible the task may seem, when Jesus speaks, things happen. God created the universe and everything in it by speaking them into existence. His words bring with them the power to create. Jesus said ” I am the Way, the Truth and the Life”. His words bring light and life to a world of darkness and death. We are told this many times in various ways in the Bible. In Romans, we are told that God speaks of things that are not as though they were.
Why would He do that? Because when He says they are, they become whatever He says. The lame walk, the blind see, the dead arise filled with new life. So, when we read all of the many precious promises that Jesus has made to us through His word, why do we still doubt it? When we have access to the same power that raised Jesus from the dead and seated Him at the right hand of the Father, why do we live in fear of what tomorrow might bring? When we are persecuted, why do we cower and remain silent? Let each of us speak the Word and God will provide the power and the oucome will be to His glory.
13 The members of the council were amazed when they saw the boldness of Peter and John, for they could see that they were ordinary men with no special training in the Scriptures. They also recognized them as men who had been with Jesus. — Acts 4:13 NLT Acts 4:1-15
“For they could see that they were ordinary men with no special training”. Using these oridnary men, God had drawn over 5000 men (plus the women and children} to Jesus. Ordinary men and women are the ones that Jesus uses every day to draw others to Jesus Christ. Ordianry men and women, people like you and me, are His choice to spread the Gospel. Here are two ex-fishermen that Jesus has turned into “fishers of men”. It is good to study and learn as long as our knowledge does not become our god. It is good to study and learn as long as we remember why we are doing it. Our studying and learning should be obedience-based and not outcome-based. It is good to study and learn as long as we don’t use that as an excuse for not spreading the Gospel. The time is here to put all that studying and learning to the use for which God gave us the ability to do it. We, as Christians, should have only one goal in our lives that overrides everything else that we do. That goal is to do everything for the glory of God. If we concentrate on that goal each and every day. perhaps we will one day recieve the same compliment that Peter and John received here — “They recognized them as men who had been with Jesus”. Do our lifestyles show others that “we have been with Jesus”? Do people notice the presence of Jesus in our lives? There is no higher compliment that we could pay a person than to tell them that we recognize they “have been with Jesus”.