Now ... we are all present before God to hear all the things commanded you by God.
What Cornelius expressed in the words of the above text can very well be applied to the gathering of the church to hear the preaching of the Word of God. It contains three significant instructions that we need to take to heart.
1. When we come together to the Name of the Lord Jesus as the church to hear His Word, we are in the presence of God. The Lord Himself has promised, “I am there in the midst” (Matthew 18, 20). Since He is at the centre, His presence gives the gathering its unique character. This great privilege that we enjoy results in blessing for us. Yet it also demands of us conduct that glorifies Him. We should ever be aware that we are in the Lord's presence!
2. We are gathered together to hear whatever God wishes to impart to us. This presumes that our heart is willing to take in the spiritual food that is given through the ministry of the Word without any resistance of the flesh. In such an attitude we do not look to the speaker but to the Lord, expecting all to come from Him who speaks to us through His servant.
3. Those who minister the Word are under the leading of the Holy Spirit. They should preach as God instructs them, and nothing else. This demands conscious dependence on the Lord, so that He can use them as a channel for His blessing. In 1 Peter 4, 11 we read: “If anyone speaks, let him speak as the oracles of God.”