Saturday 11 April, 2020
10 At Caesarea there was a man named Cornelius, a centurion in what was known as the Italian Regiment. 2 He and all his family were devout and God-fearing; he gave generously to those in need and prayed to God regularly. 3 One day at about three in the afternoon he had a vision. He distinctly saw an angel of God, who came to him and said, “Cornelius!” 4 Cornelius stared at him in fear. “What is it, Lord?” he asked. The angel answered, “Your prayers and gifts to the poor have come up as a memorial offering before God. 5 Now send men to Joppa to bring back a man named Simon who is called Peter. 6 He is staying with Simon the tanner, whose house is by the sea.” 7 When the angel who spoke to him had gone, Cornelius called two of his servants and a devout soldier who was one of his attendants. 8 He told them everything that had happened and sent them to Joppa.
Here is a classic example of a person fulfilling the purposes that God has for them in their life.
Cornelius has just been asked by God to begin the process that will see Gentiles on equal footing with Jews, a radical shift in thinking for the time. This was a huge assignment and God needed the right person for the job. Why did He choose Cornelius?
Cornelius feared God, and loved others, giving generously to the poor. He was in the habit of praying and was a leader and example of faith within his family. A man of influence perhaps.
Cornelius had the resources that were needed for the job. He was able to despatch men who could travel and collect Peter as required.
Cornelius, as a military man, had been trained and understood the need to follow directions even when you didn’t quite understand or agree. Cornelius didn’t argue that he was the wrong person, didn’t have time or needed to think about it.
Cornelius had the influence within his family to bring them together upon Peter’s return so that they may all sit under the blessing of God and hear the gospel preached, and ultimately receive the Holy Spirit.
Cornelius could never have imagined what he was about to be a part of just as we are never quite sure what God is going to do when he whispers instructions into our hearts each morning as we turn to him. But we can be confident that God has chosen the person with the right heart, resources, training and influence to be able to complete the task …. if we just trust Him and respond with obedience.
Father we ask that you will speak loudly and clearly to us each day, prompting us into action to spread the good news of your love to those we interact with. Help us to be obedient, even when we don’t understand the purpose. Amen
Written by Jocelyn Petschack
I love it how Cornelius was a man of faith, he was just going about his daily life but he was a man who lived out his life for God. The but that struck me was, he was in the habit of praying and he was the leader of faith in his family and gave generously to those in need.
That’s a good take-home message for me.
Love the consistency and disciplined habits in Cornelius’ life. God knew He could trust Cornelius with this amazing “job”.