NextGen Pastor Andriel Diaz shared a bit of his personal testimony this past Sunday, closing out the series of “Where the Tree Grows” and what I would characterize as “God’s choices, which seem unlikely to man”.  Pastor Andriel’s sermon reminded me of the Roman centurion Cornelius, as described in Acts 10.  In response to the searching heart of Cornelius, God worked in a way only He can. In a vision, God directed him to seek out Peter. An applicable historical background is that Jews were prohibited by law from associating with anyone from another nation. Nevertheless, Cornelius immediately sent messengers to bring Peter to Caesarea from Joppa.

Meanwhile, God was preparing Peter through a vision. In it, Peter saw a sheet come down out of heaven filled with all kinds of animals, reptiles, and birds. A voice said to him, “Rise, Peter, kill and eat.” But Peter replied, “By no means, Lord; for I have never eaten anything that is common or unclean.” The voice said, “What God has made clean, do not call common.” At about the same time, the messengers sent by Cornelius arrived asking for Peter. They explained their mission and invited Peter to make the trip to visit Cornelius in order to share his message. Upon arriving at Cornelius’s house, Peter inquired, “I ask why you sent for me.”  So Cornelius shared the story of his heavenly visitor and introduced Peter to his assembled guests with these words. “Now therefore we are all here in the presence of God to hear all you have been commanded by the Lord.”

In verse 34, Peter says, “Truly I understand that God shows no partiality” and then shares a message of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Then in verses 44 and 45, “While Peter was still saying these things, the Holy Spirit fell on all who heard the word. And the believers among the Jews who had accompanied Peter on the trip were amazed, because the gift of the Holy Spirit was poured out even on the Gentiles.”

We should all be meditating on Scripture, trying to discern and follow God’s will, even when it seems like an unlikely direction from our human perspective.

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