Ready To Listen
The Sunday morning was foggy, so Mary and I left early. The church service was at 9:00 and we had to drive through Texas farm country to get there. We were expecting a small church with a small crowd in the retirement community church that had invited us to present the Word. But when we drove into the parking lot at 8:30, the parking lot was already full, and by 9:00 the good size auditorium in the beautiful Austin stone church was packed. After shaking the roof with enthusiastic singing and some splendid worship from the choir, I stepped into the pulpit, and they were ready to listen.
With my dad I've spoken to some street meeting crowds in New York, and the audience was not what I would call receptive, but as a kid, my dad would regularly speak to a large group of cadets after the Army football games. Their receptivity reminds me of the crowd in Cornelius' house in Caesarea ready to hear the Apostle Peter.
"The next day Peter got up and departed with the men from Cornelius' household. Some of the brothers from Joppa also went with them. The following day they arrived in Caesarea where Cornelius was expecting them. He gathered together his family and some close friends. When Peter entered, Cornelius fell at his feet in reverence. Peter made him get up. 'Stand up,' he said, 'I'm only a man myself.'
While talking with him, Peter went inside and found everyone gathered. 'He said to them, 'You understand that it's forbidden for a Jew to associate with or visit a Gentile. But God has shown me that I should not call anyone impure or unclean. So when I was called for, I came without objection. May I ask why you have sent for me?'
'Three days ago I was in my house praying,' Cornelius said, 'and a man stood before me in radiating apparel and said, 'Cornelius, your prayers have been heard and your gracious giving has been remembered before God. Therefore send to Joppa and summon Simon who is also called Peter. He's a guest in the home of Simon, the tanner, who lives by the Sea. Immediately I sent for you. It's good that you came and now we are all gathered in the presence of God to listen to everything the Lord has commanded you to tell us.'" Acts 10:23-33
Many of the cadets that dad preached to in those home meetings came to know Jesus and grew. Some of them after their military service went on to use their leadership skills in organizations like Navigators and even Word of Life Bible Institute.
LORD, thanks for the encouragement from the believers in the White Bluff Chapel who were so receptive to your Word. Thanks for the reminder that though there will be non-responsive or even hostile audiences, there will also be crowds with wide open hearts.
For more from Dave Wyrtzen please visit TruthEncounter.com!
You can also listen to weekly messages from Dave on OnePlace.com.