So Philip asked, "Do you understand what you are reading?" And the Ethiopian said, "How can I, unless someone guides me?" And he invited Philip to come up and sit with him. ~ Acts 8: 30-31
And Cornelius told us how the angel had appeared to him in his home and had told him, "Send to Joppa and bring Simon who is called Peter, he will declare to you a message by which you will be saved, you and all your household. ~ Acts 11:13-15
We went outside the gate to the riverside . . . and we sat down and spoke to the women who had come together. One who heard us was a woman named Lydia . . . The Lord opened her heart to pay attention what was said by Paul. Acts 16:13-14
This morning I brought the message both services at Christ Community Church. During the last month most of my thinking during quiet moments has tracked along the theme -- Looking for God. That was part of the theme of this morning's tidings. There was more -- If you are looking for God -- God has someone looking for you!
Many people recognize that at some point in their life a spiritual transition takes place -- rather than running away from God -- they begin to look for God. A catalyst of some sort causes a turn-around, and they realize that they want and need a relationship with God. Unbeknown to that person at the time, other forces are at work -- all along God knows exactly where they are -- and as they begin looking for Him, someone begins looking for them. Piled on top of all that is the good news that the one seeking them is searching on behalf of God! Time-and-time again God's record of the early church (the book of Acts) reveals this pattern.
Think about it . . .
An Ethiopian of great authority began searching for God when an Old Testament Scripture piqued his interest -- God sent Philip to find him and guide him to Jesus. A soldier named Cornelius was looking for God in prayer, spiritual values, and generosity to the poor -- simultaneously God was preparing Peter to seek out Cornelius and answer his simple question -- How do I get saved? There is also Lydia, a wealthy business woman. She, too, was looking for God -- so the Holy Spirit forces the itinerant preacher, Paul, to rearrange his itinerary in order to bring the message of Jesus to her spiritually hungry heart.
Did you know that not one of those seekers was allowed in the Temple -- the place where the way to God could be found? The Ethiopian was a eunuch -- his castration forbid him to enter the Temple. Cornelius was a Gentile, an occupying soldier -- to enter the Temple would result in his death. Lydia was a woman -- she could not enter the Temple.
Most of God's redemptive work does not occur in the houses of worship where the saints gather. Instead, God, in unpredictable ways, takes the twists and turns of people's lives and sees to it that those who are looking for Him are intercepted by those looking for them! God promises us that he will use our attentiveness to His process to help searchers become finders! They are looking for Him, but He already knows where they are. We go looking for them, but we are seeking on His behalf -- incredible!
If you are you looking for God -- Someone is looking for you!