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  • Writer's pictureThe Hermit of Antipolo

Listening To The Word (Thought for the Day Part 101)

Today’s reading: Acts 10:25-48

On the day of Pentecost, Peter preached one sermon and 3,000 people were converted. This time, Peter preaches to Gentiles and a whole extended household is converted. The Roman centurion Cornelius had gathered many people to listen to Peter, and “while Peter was still speaking these things, the holy Spirit fell upon all who were listening to the word.” (v.44). There are some important realities in this powerful verse.

One, the word of God has power. The word of God is a two-edged sword that penetrates deep into a person, between soul and spirit, joints and marrow, reflections and thoughts. If we listen to God’s word attentively and eagerly, then we open our lives to the power of the Holy Spirit, which is crucial to our living the authentic Christian life.

Two, we need to not just hear the word but to listen to it. We hear all kinds of sounds through the day and make nothing of them. In the same way, we might be present when someone is preaching the word and we hear the words, but we might not be listening. We might be sleepy, or distracted, or preoccupied with some other thing. Rather, we are to be attentive, and even excited to hear the word. Cornelius had sent for Peter immediately and when he came, all were there in the presence of God to listen to all that he had to say (v.33). We then listen not just with our ears but with our minds and hearts.

Three, God is impatient to pour out His Spirit upon people. Peter was still speaking when the Holy Spirit fell upon all who were listening. God could see the hearts of the people and wasted no time in filling them with the Spirit. God wants all to be saved, and the process of salvation starts when those sent preach the word.

Four, we who are witnesses to Jesus are mere instruments but it is God who acts in transforming people. When we speak the word of God, we are used as His instruments to do His divine work. It is first and foremost the work of God. As long as we allow ourselves to be used, then God acts in and through us.

Those who witness and preach are crucial to the work of God. And so, just like the apostles who are those sent, Jesus “commissioned us to preach to the people and testify that he is the one appointed by God as judge of the living and the dead.” (v.42). And the result? “Everyone who believes in him will receive forgiveness of sins through his name.” (v.43b). Preaching 🡪 hearing 🡪 believing 🡪 receiving forgiveness 🡪 salvation. So listen.

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