I have recently changed my Bible study notes. There weren’t any copies left of the ones I usually buy. It has made me realize how much of a “quiet time” rut I have got used to.
This morning as I read and meditated on the apportioned verses from Acts 10, I made expansive notes on things that came to mind. Once I had put down the pen, quite pleased with what I had thought about – the Spirit spoke. “Now that your mind has finished speaking – what does your heart say?”
The chapter starts - “In Caesarea there was a man named Cornelius, a centurion in what was known as the Italian Regiment. He and all his family were devout and God-fearing; he gave generously to those in need and prayed to God regularly.”
What my heart has to say? I can see why God responded to Cornelius. He was devout and God-fearing. He was generous and giving. He prayed a lot. He was the kind of man that God could use. He was more than half way there. Even as a Christian, I am tempted to line myself up against him and come to the conclusion that I don’t measure up.
Reading back in the previous chapter was God claims Saul on the road to Damascus, again, I can see why. Saul with all his passion and his understanding of scripture – God could direct it all for His purposes. Within days of his encounter with God, he is preaching to the Jews, proving that Jesus is the Christ, persuading them, arguing with them and leaving them all baffled and astonished. I can see why God picked Saul.
My heart has to say – why me? I wasn’t particularly devout. I have always believed in God, but God-fearing is something different. I feared many things, God included, but in a scary judgmental kind of way. Generously giving? The moths in my purse were rarely disturbed. I have difficulty letting go of my “rainy day” mentality and confess to being a bit of a hoarder. I maybe gave, but never generously. I was never the widow with her mite casting her last few coins in the offering. Did I pray to God regularly? No. Like most people I prayed those selfish emergency prayers and I “wished” nice things for other people.
God spoke to me as I was thinking all of this. “I didn’t choose you because I needed you. I chose you because you needed Me”.