Monday, May 23, 2011

The Good News Is For Everybody

Men of the Bible Series - Cornelius lived for God.

Acts 10:1-5, 33-35  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.

33 So I sent for you immediately, and it was good of you to come. Now we are all here in the presence of God to listen to everything the Lord has commanded you to tell us.”

 34 Then Peter began to speak: “I now realize how true it is that God does not show favoritism 35 but accepts from every nation the one who fears him and does what is right.

It is difficult to imagine that a centurion, that is the Roman leader of 100 soldiers, could be a God fearing man. Imagine going to work each day in the environment that he had to deal with, the rest of the centurions probably thought that Cornelius had gone a little crazy, he was probably acting different and talking about nice things, he didn't fit in anymore.

God sent Peter to visit Cornelius and why not, don't worry about the fact that he wasn't a Jew after all he was a God fearing man who lived a life of devotion to God, a life that looked like the lifestyle that Jesus taught about. He spent regular time each day in prayer, he was generous and always tried to do the right thing.

What a mission trip that was for Peter, he stepped right into some fertile soil that somebody else had already planted, he presented the good news about Jesus and he was blessed to reap the harvest.

Despite the opposition that Cornelius probably received from his work and his neighbors he was faithful to God.

You might like to read: Men of the Bible blog series.