Great Expectation…

Our family attends Wednesday evening Bible Study at our church.  Last night we were discussing Acts 10:44-48.

44 While Peter was still speaking these words, the Holy Spirit came on all who heard the message. 45 The circumcised believers who had come with Peter were astonished that the gift of the Holy Spirit had been poured out even on Gentiles. 46 For they heard them speaking in tongues[a] and praising God.

Then Peter said, 47 “Surely no one can stand in the way of their being baptized with water. They have received the Holy Spirit just as we have.” 48 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.

We talked about the fact that “while Peter was still speaking these words, the Holy Spirit came on all who heard the message.”  Often we go to church and hear our minister preach.  Sometimes he will even give an “alter call”, which in normal people speak means that he invites people to come up to the alter who would like to pray to accept Jesus, or who would like prayer for healing etc.  Normally when this happens, it is only after the pastor invites people forward.  But here in Acts, Peter (the acting pastor here) is still speaking about Jesus and his forgiveness when the Holy Spirit came on all who were hearing and understanding the message.  He didn’t even get to the “come on down” part of the message when the Holy Spirit moved.  (This just goes to prove it is all a work of God, not man, this salvation…but that is another blog!)

We have been discussing something very interesting about this scripture.  If you read back a few verses, you see that the people who were listening to the words of Peter had been gathered at the home of Cornelius with great expectation in their hearts.  They knew from Cornelius that he was coming to talk to them, and they knew that what he said would be from God.  They expected it.  Their hearts and minds were prepared to be listening and understanding the words they were about to hear.   So when Peter began to give testimony to Jesus, the people heard his message and understood it.  Before Peter was even done talking, the people responded to the Spirit of God and so He fell on them all!  Everyone who were listening that day received Him!

Our pastor issued a challenge to us last night.  He challenged us to begin to anticipate Sunday services today…to begin to expect that God is going to move in bit way.  To anticipate hearing from God on Sunday.  If we arrive at church Sunday with an attitude of great expectation, we will receive what we expect!  Expect to hear from God and we will!

I have been thinking about this all day.  I think this should be true every day, not just on Sunday at church.  If I awake each morning and expect God to be in my day, if I expect him to do great things in my life and in my problems, if I expect to hear from Him in a tangible way every day, I will.  When we have a heart of expectation, we are open to hearing and seeing God.  We are open to the Holy Spirit doing His work in and through us.

Do I really expect that God sees what I am going through?  Do I really expect that He has answers for me?  Do I really expect that He is big enough to handle these hard things that I deal with?  Do I really trust that He knows my needs and can provide for them?  If I truely believe God is who He says He is, then I can know that He is big enough to handle all of it!  He can work in amazing ways!  I should not be surprised when He does, I should be praising Him because He is God!

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