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Jesus and Divine Appointments

2012

by Joel Comiskey

In Luke 9:1-6; 10:1-11, you'll notice how Jesus told his teams of house church planters to look for a person of peace. In other words, Jesus asked his disciples to look for divine appointments. The phrase "peace to this house" was also used in the literature of that time period and described someone who was qualified to receive peace.

Jesus wanted his disciples to find people open to the gospel message. Anyone who accepted the messengers and their peace greeting also accepted the message of the coming kingdom. Who was supposed to receive the peace greeting? Most likely the disciples would win the head of the house. Then the conversion process would spread from there in ever widening circles, reaching its climax once the entire town had heard the kingdom message.

A person of peace is someone who God has sovereignly prepared to receive the gospel before you arrive. The essence of effective cell evangelism is finding those who God has already sovereignly prepared. We must remember that God wants to minister to new people more than we do, and he makes it happen. He often does this by opening the hearts of key people.

In the early church, God opened the heart of Cornelius to hear and respond to the gospel (Acts 10). God prepared Cornelius to receive the ministry of Peter. The same thing happened with the conversion of Lydia. Scripture says: "One of those listening was a woman named Lydia, a dealer in purple cloth from the city of Thyatira, who was a worshiper of God. The Lord opened her heart to respond to Paul's message. When she and the members of her household were baptized, she invited us to her home. "If you consider me a believer in the Lord," she said, "come and stay at my house." And she persuaded us (Acts 16:14-15). The same thing happened with the jailer in Philippi (Acts 16:31-34). God used an earthquake to awaken him to the gospel. When planting new cells and cell churches, the key question is: "Where is God working?"

Pray for your oikos contact, watch God's work in their lives, and then proactively reach out to them.