There is a mystery in you!
By Pastor Doug Cox
Are you a believer? If so, there is a mystery hidden in you that others need. You’ll see what I mean from this story found in the book of Acts. It says…
“…There was a certain man in Caesarea called Cornelius, a centurion of what was called the Italian Regiment, a devout man and one who feared God with all his household, who gave alms generously to the people, and prayed to God always. About the ninth hour of the day he saw clearly in a vision an angel of God coming in and saying to him, ‘Cornelius!’ And when he observed him, he was afraid, and said, ‘What is it, lord?’ So he said to him, ‘Your prayers and your alms have come up for a memorial before God. Now send men to Joppa and send for Simon whose surname is Peter. He is lodging with Simon, a tanner, whose house is by the sea. He will tell you what you must do.’ And when the angel who spoke to him had departed, Cornelius called two of his household servants and a devout soldier from among those who waited on him continually. So, when he had explained all these things to them, he sent them to Joppa.”
Acts 10:1-8 (NKJV)
Can you see the mystery I am talking about? When you read further in the story you will find that Peter went to Cornelius’s house after having a supernatural visit from heaven of his own where God revealed to him that the gospel is open to all nations, not just the Jews. He then shared the gospel of salvation through Jesus Christ with Cornelius a non-Jew who wanted salvation. The mystery I want you to see is that God uses people to share the gospel of salvation, not angels. It would have been so easy for the angel to tell Cornelius about Jesus but that wasn’t God’s plan. His plan was (and still is) to use people to share the gospel.
Why Peter and not an angel? One reason is that’s the way God wanted it. We can’t change God’s ways so we might as well accept them. Another reason is salvation was something Peter experienced. The gospel changed Peter deep within, leaving a deposit of love the angels could never experience. Peter experienced forgiveness and acceptance from Christ Himself. He went to Cornelius with more than a mandate, but a message and a life change born by the Spirit and love of God.
That’s something we can all experience. Once that happens, we are called to speak the truth in love. That’s a message the world and those around us desperately need. If you are truly saved, you know how your life has been wonderfully changed by it. You should want others to experience the same thing.
Though God uses each of us to water and plant, He alone gives the increase, (see 1 Corinthians 3:6-8) and your part always matters. Maybe it will be easier to think that you don’t have to see results when you witness. The results belong to God. Just think you are adding another piece of the mysterious puzzle to their life and maybe that piece will be one that makes the difference.