Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Benji Aymond: "The One Searching for Us"

Guest post by Benji Aymond, Student Pastor at New Life Community Church.  You can follow his blog at www.studentpastornotebook.blogspot.com.

"The One Searching for Us"

Right now our church is engaged in something we call One Focus. This drive can be summed up through the tagline, “Reaching the World by Reaching One.” Essentially, we want to reach our neighborhoods, our schools, our friends, and our families by focusing on one individual to share the gospel with in a relevant and fresh way.

As we have gone through this series with our congregation, we have pointed out several instances in the Bible where God showed someone their one. But I found an interesting situation when reading through the book of Acts the other night. In the tenth chapter of Acts, we are introduced to a man named Cornelius.

“Now there was a man at Caesarea named Cornelius, a centurion of what was called the Italian cohort, a devout man and one who feared God with all his household, and gave many alms to the Jewish people and prayed to God continually.” Acts 10:1-2

A centurion during this time period was a non-commissioned officer over 80-100 men (one centuraie) and a cohort was made up of about 6 centuriae with a single head officer. Interestingly enough, this Roman officer was also a God-fearing man who paid Jewish alms. This essentially is due to the presence of Judaism filtering into the pagan ruled world of the Romans. I want to point this out, because we see here a man who is lost in identity. He has vested interest in the Roman government, has dedicated his life to serving and even dying for the advance of this pagan empire, yet he fears God, prays, and even pays alms. How many people today can we think of, that know of God, have a reverent fear of Him, pray when times get tough, and maybe even charitably give to the local church or to the needy, yet do not have a relationship with Jesus? This man Cornelius was looking for his identity. The Bible goes on to say that Cornelius was given a vision by God for just the person who would show him where his identity lay.  

“About the ninth hour of the day he clearly saw in a vision an angel of God who had just come in and said to him, “Cornelius!” And fixing his gaze on him and being much alarmed, he said, “What is it, Lord?” And he said to him, “Your prayers and alms have ascended as a memorial before God. Now dispatch some men to Joppa and send for a man named Simon, who is also called Peter; he is staying with a tanner named Simon, whose house is by the sea.” Acts 10:3-6

The Bible goes on to explain how Peter too was given a vision of animals that were unclean for him to eat, but was being directed by the Lord to partake in what the Lord had made clean. Peter, being confused as to what the vision meant, was then approached by Cornelius’ men who took Peter to the centurion’s home where Peter presented the Gospel of Jesus and baptized the entire household.

I find it amazing that God not only directed Peter to his ONE, but God also spoke to Peter’s ONE about who had the answers for him! As we pray for God to reveal to us who our ONE is, I encourage you to also pray that God would open the heart of the ONE God is calling you to reach, and that the Holy Spirit is directing them to you in such a way that they are even searching for you! 

Benji Aymond
Newlife Community Church | Student Pastor

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