He is before all things, and by Him all things hold together.
Colossians 1:17 (HCSB)
Series Focus: “Piece by Piece”
Who knew?!? The friend I met in my Communications class in 1992 at SIUE became my lifelong friend AND my ministry partner in launching My Sister and Me Ministries in 2017. Think of it! TWENTY-FIVE years after our introduction, God commenced My Sister and Me Ministries! We did not know in 1992 what God had in store for our friendship. Little me and she were just specks in the vast expanse of God’s immense plan and purpose. Mere dots. However, He knew what He had in store!
As we journey through this series, “Piece by Piece,” and dive into scenarios of old and new where we only see in part, we pause this week to reflect on the many connections and relationships God brings into our daily lives, fueled with so much purpose! This week, we look at a connector—a conduit, a networker, if you will—named Cornelius. Join us in Acts 10:1-3 HCBS:
There was a man in Caesarea named Cornelius, a centurion of what was called the Italian Regiment. He was a devout man and feared God along with his whole household. He did many charitable deeds for the Jewish people and always prayed to God. About three in the afternoon he distinctly saw in a vision an angel of God who came in and said to him, “Cornelius!”
We all can testify in hindsight how God has been in the details of some situations and relationships of our past. As we submit ourselves to Him, He works out the details of His plans behind the scenes. Weaving His web of strategic connections, we willingly—or even hesitantly—fill in the parts He needs played for His purpose to be fulfilled.
Some of us are willing and able to surrender all to Him: whatever will be will be, according to the will and purpose of God. Others of us, like Saul, may kick against the bricks in resistance, frustration, and misunderstanding. Like doubting Thomas, we need to see the entire plan, all the details, and the proof and purpose of every interaction. However, God tells us without faith it is impossible to please God.
Can we, like Cornelius, rise, respond, and act in obedience to God from a place of resolute faith? In Acts 10:22-23 HCSB, we see how Cornelius, in obedience to the instruction of the Holy Spirit, sent his messengers to Peter:
They said, “Cornelius, a centurion, an upright and God-fearing man, who has a good reputation with the whole Jewish nation, was divinely directed by a holy angel to call you to his house and to hear a message from you.” Peter then invited them in and gave them lodging. The next day he got up and set out with them, and some of the brothers from Joppa went with him.
Often, hindsight is 20/20. The “aha” of what has commenced suddenly confirms God’s purpose all along. As we continue in Acts 10, verses 30-33 HCSB reports:
Cornelius replied, “Four days ago at this hour, at three in the afternoon, I was praying in my house. Just then a man in a dazzling robe stood before me and said, ‘Cornelius, your prayer has been heard, and your acts of charity have been remembered in God’s sight. Therefore send someone to Joppa and invite Simon here, who is also named Peter. He is lodging in Simon the tanner’s house by the sea. Therefore I immediately sent for you, and you did the right thing in coming. So we are all present before God, to hear everything you have been commanded by the Lord.”
Cornelius’ obedience led to the salvation and deliverance of so many! It makes me wonder in awe and anticipation: whose salvation and deliverance is on the other side of our obedience? Piece by piece, step by step, smile by smile, friendship by friendship, God is working HIS plan in our lives. We may not see the fullness of the fruit of our obedience in the present day. However, eternal fruit remains forever.
As Jen and I celebrate our 6th anniversary of My Sister and Me Ministries, we rejoice in God connecting the dots of our relationship in 1992 all the way through 2017 and into the present day. God continues to make us conduits of His presence, love, power, joy, hope, and peace as we travel and minister to ladies across the United States. We are all carriers of His presence. Be a DOT in God’s Dot to Dot worksheet. The picture is so much more beautiful and vast than any of us could ever imagine or think. Let’s continue to connect!
Holding Fast to Hope,
Scripture references: Acts 9-10; John 20:24-29; Isaiah 1:19; Hebrews 6:11; 1 Chronicles 16:12; Colossians 1:17