“While Peter was still speaking these words, the Holy Spirit fell upon all those who heard the word. And those of the circumcision who believed were astonished, as many as came with Peter, because the gift of the Holy Spirit had been poured out on the Gentiles also.”
Acts 10:44-45 NKJV
God is always working behind the scenes, convicting people of their sins and preparing hearts for the message of the Gospel. Years ago, I sat in a service at my former church as the pastor preached to the congregation on stewardship. It was early in the year, and many of the sermons at that time are designed to foster a spirit of giving.
It was a good sermon, great for stressing the need for giving to the work of the Gospel, but there was nothing evangelistic in it. At some point, near the end of the sermon, pastor stopped preaching, looked around the room, and advised the congregation that he felt led to stop and give an invitation. The Holy Spirit had moved on him to put aside the rest of the stewardship sermon and focus on the saving of souls.
That morning twelve people came to Christ.
The Holy Spirit had His own agenda, and was working in hearts beyond the words being spoken. Thanks be to God that the pastor was sensitive to the Lord’s leading that morning.
As I read the passage in Acts chapter ten, I was reminded of sovereign work of God, and how He will complete His work. Here was Peter giving his sermon, and before he could finish, the Holy Spirit fell upon them and convicted them. In this, we are reminded that it is God that brings the harvest.
“Who then is Paul, and who is Apollos, but ministers through whom you believed, as the Lord gave to each one? I planted, Apollos watered, but God gave the increase. So then neither he who plants is anything, nor he who waters, but God who gives the increase.”
I Corinthians 3:5-7 NKJV
Because we know that God is working in the background, convicting the world of sin, we have no excuses for not sharing the Good News. Many of us are reluctant to go out and share because we feel inadequate, lacking the knowledge, or cleverness of words.
Everyone of us has a testimony, a story of what God has done. We have that story of what we were like before we met Jesus, and how the Holy Spirit has used that great salvation to transform us, making us new.
The Apostle Peter is a great example for us. Of those who were with Jesus, he was the most unlikely, as he was rash and backward. But, after the Holy Spirit entered him, he became effective in sharing the word of God. God is able to use anyone.
“But God has chosen the foolish things of the world to put to shame the wise, and God has chosen the weak things of the world to put to shame the things which are mighty;”
I Corinthians 1:27 NKJV
I can attest to that.
Those of us today, who have been born again, have the power of the Holy Spirit in us. He is our helper, the one who stands with us when it is time to deliver. He is working in the hearts of the hearers.
“And I will pray the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may abide with you forever— the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees Him nor knows Him; but you know Him, for He dwells with you and will be in you. I will not leave you orphans; I will come to you.”
John 14:16-18 NKJV
Take the story that God has given you and go and tell. There is someone out there who needs to hear your particular story, the one that they can identify with. In you, they will see Jesus and the work that He can do.
May we have the heart of the two lepers in II Kings chapter seven, and go to the people with the good news of God’s provision.
“Then they said to one another, “We are not doing right. This day is a day of good news, and we remain silent. If we wait until morning light, some punishment will come upon us. Now therefore, come, let us go and tell the king’s household.””
II Kings 7:9 NKJV