Chosen By God as Witnesses
If you find it hard to talk about your faith with others, ask God to help you with that.
Read Acts 10:34-48
 Then Peter began to speak: “I now realize how true it is that God does not show favoritism  but accepts from every nation the one who fears him and does what is right.  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.  You know what has happened throughout the province of Judea, beginning in Galilee after the baptism that John preached-  how God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and power, and how he went around doing good and healing all who were under the power of the devil, because God was with him.  “We are witnesses of everything he did in the country of the Jews and in Jerusalem. They killed him by hanging him on a cross,  but God raised him from the dead on the third day and caused him to be seen.  He was not seen by all the people, but by witnesses whom God had already chosen-by us who ate and drank with him after he rose from the dead.  He commanded us to preach to the people and to testify that he is the one whom God appointed as judge of the living and the dead.  All the prophets testify about him that everyone who believes in him receives forgiveness of sins through his name.”  While Peter was still speaking these words, the Holy Spirit came on all who heard the message.  The circumcised believers who had come with Peter were astonished that the gift of the Holy Spirit had been poured out even on Gentiles.  For they heard them speaking in tongues and praising God. Then Peter said,  “Surely no one can stand in the way of their being baptized with water. They have received the Holy Spirit just as we have.”  So he ordered that they be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ. Then they asked Peter to stay with them for a few days. Scripture taken from the THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION
ReflectWhat big thing did Peter come to realize?
Peter gives us a great model for witnessing. He begins by listening carefully to Cornelius’ story (29-33). He shares how this fits in with what God has recently been saying to him (34). He continues by building on what Cornelius, as a Gentile, already knows of God (36-38). Very simply he tells the story of Jesus while adding his own part of the tale (39a,41). Peter then moves more fully into the difference Jesus has made to his own life (42), all in a couple of minutes! Peter makes it very clear that he is a witness, one who testifies. That is our job: to witness to what has happened to us. It is the Holy Spirit who brings people to faith, not us (44). But our witnessing opens the way for him to start to work. The believers from Joppa were astonished at what they saw as the Holy Spirit came upon these non-Jewish people (45)! We won’t always see the effect of our witnessing. Sometimes we will see somebody coming to faith; often we may not see any sign of fruit from our efforts. But be ready to stick around with people who respond, if they invite you (48b).
Spend some time now rehearsing a two-minute account of God’s work in you. Then be ready to use it!
Gracious Lord, You’ve done so much in and for me. I want to be ready and able to tell others.