Acts 10:30-33 – “Then Cornelius said to him, Four days I have been fasting; and at three o’clock in the afternoon while I was praying in my house, a man dressed in white garments stood before me.31 And said to me, Cornelius, your prayer has been heard, and your alms are a memorial before God.32 But send to the city of Joppa and bring Simon, who is called Peter; behold he is staying in the house of Simon Bur-sa”ya, the tanner, by the seaside: and he will come and talk with you.33 At that very time I sent for you, and you have done well to come. Behold we are all here present before you, and we wish to hear everything commanded thee from God.”
We looked at the first factor for success in this service of our text as being the Audience. Today, I want us to dig a little deeper and hopefully present something that will be both enlightening and inspirational.
THE SECOND FACTOR WAS THE PREACHER…
Of course, I am going to bring the preacher into the mix, after all, I am a preacher. Seriously, the one delivering the message is important for many of the same reasons as the audience. I read an article some years ago that drew a comparison between preachers and farmers. The article said that the farmer contributed more to human well-being in one year than any preacher. I hope that is not true! God has used the foolishness of preaching to save souls and that is a great contribution to human well-being it is eternal well-being.
When God purposed to lead Cornelius and his house into the Light of the Gospel, He used a preacher to deliver the message. He could have sent an angel, just as He did to tell Cornelius to send for Peter. Preaching should have the purpose of transforming lives not impressing with originality and oratorical ability. It is not about the preacher; he is just the vehicle through which the Holy Spirit brings the message.
In fact, when I study the Gospels, I realize that Jesus gave preaching a very high priority. When He began His earthly ministry, He read from Isaiah in Luke 4:18, “…because He has anointed me to preach…” This is God’s method to advance the Kingdom. One key element is Preaching! If you read Mark 16 you realize that Preaching was part of the Great Commission. The apostle Paul referred to the importance of preaching in Romans 10:13-15.
Preaching is part of the service because God commissions it. Logistics and mathematics would reveal that we can reach far more people by having a gathering and preaching than by speaking one on one to the entire world. Preaching is effective when done under the compulsion of the Spirit with the anointing of God. Anointed preaching is powerful, and every preacher should preach with the awareness that they are speaking for God and will be held accountable for what they say.
Cornelius was convinced that Peter was a man under divine orders and was eager to hear what he had to say. Remember in the Old Testament when Miriam and Aaron challenged Moses? What did God do? How about Korah, Dathan, and the others? God took swift, drastic, and immediate action. The call of God carries a heavy weight of responsibility and therefore preaching is only to be done under the inspiration of the Spirit and with deep reverence for God.
I want to deal with this more but will pause here and take this up again in the next devotional.
May the LORD bless you, keep you, and make His face shine upon you giving you peace. God bless and have a wonderful day!