I read the story in Acts 10 this morning about Cornelius the Centurion and his request for Peter to come and tell them, in Cornelius’ mind, whatever Peter needed to tell them. Peter had the greatest message to tell in the history of the world and Cornelius had a chance to hear it!
Ever since I preached a sermon from Matthew 13 several months ago asking the question, can you hear Jesus speaking? Do I want to hear what Jesus has to say? I have been trying to evaluate in myself how much drive and desire I really have to hear Him. I could picture in my mind all these people who were looking for their Messiah, but when He was there, they didn’t listen; they didn’t even have ears to hear! Scary!
It seems that we are in a culture, a church culture, where few seem worried about what God says or wants, or wants to say. Even in the church I pastor, I see people who say they’re Christ followers yet their decisions on their involvement, and even church membership, seem to be made without regard to what Jesus is wanting or saying. Usually, it comes down to whether things are done the way they want or whether it’s the right program, or the right program on the right day, or the right program on the right day at the right time.
I wonder if this is just a symptom of the real problem, which is, a lack of desire to actually hear God speak through His word. I wonder if the problem is really just a matter of familiarity.
Doesn’t it seem like our human nature just causes us to want things we can’t or don’t have and think of that which we do have as no big deal?
I wonder if this is the reason it seems so many, who call themselves Christians, don’t read their Bible with regularity and don’t seem to allow Jesus’ desires and Word to factor into decisions of church attendance, membership and even worship.
As I was reading Acts 10 this morning, I found myself wanting to feel like Cornelius. Can you imagine wanting to hear God speak so badly? I don’t just mean “so badly” that he would send for Peter but Cornelius had such an expectation of what would be said that he assembled “his relatives and his close friends.” Can you imagine? Cornelius just knew that God was going to speak through Peter so he gathered everyone he knew and loved!
I want that kind of desire to hear the Word speak!
So, I want to be careful with my next answer to the question of What’s a Christian? I want to say, “A Christian is one who is driven to hear their Savior speak.” But, I know there are many Christians, who like me, at times struggle with this. So, here’s my statement:
A Christian is a person who wants to here their Master speak. This, at times, culminates in a prayer asking God to give a desire to hear Him. Lord, please give me ears to hear! A believer is someone who cares about what Jesus has to say.
“And he said to me, ‘Son of man, stand on your feet, and I will speak with you.’” (Ezekiel 2:1)