April 16, 2019
The Word Spoken Through Others
Read Acts 2:36-38
In 1996, I had the privilege of attending a Billy Graham Crusade in Charlotte while attending the school of Evangelism. I was sitting in the upper section of the Carolina Panthers’ stadium. Two young men sat down behind me and it quickly became obvious from their conversation that one had twisted the arm of the other to be there. The reluctant one ridiculed just about every aspect of the proceedings and insisted that “I’ll be damned if I go down to that field.” Then Billy came on, and in his pleasant, southern drawl proclaimed the Gospel. The young man’s ridicule ceased, and I could hear him utter statements every now and then like, “What did he say?” “How can that be?” And so forth. Then came the altar call, and his friend couldn’t get out of the way fast enough for this young man to reach the aisle.
All too often we are reluctant to give heed to certain people because of prejudice or preconceived notions of who God would choose to be his vehicle of proclamation. In Acts 2:13 Luke tells us that the people thought the disciples were drunk. There was doubt and ridicule in abundance until Peter began to preach and several thousand were added to the number of believers. Bishop Costantino, who died in 2006, experienced such an event at a conference where he was the featured speaker. A woman came to him after his first talk and told him that she had a word for him. He assured her that God wouldn’t send someone like her to give him a word. She insisted, so he said, “Ask God what sin I confessed yesterday, and if he tells you I’ll listen.” She came back and told him, “I asked, and God says that He has forgotten.” To his credit Bishop Costantino let her give him the word.
Are there people from whom you won’t receive the Word? Why is that? Ask God to open those channels for His gift of repentance.