Cornelius, a Roman officer:
- – Was a devout, God fearing unbeliever in Jesus Christ , him and his household.
- – Gave generously to the poor, Jewish people (Amp)
- – Prayed regularly to God
All those who seek the Lord earnestly will be found by Him and He will reveal Himself to them.
Fear of the Lord is essential for a fruitful Christian life ( Psalm 103:11)
Cornelius followed the greatest commandment of Loving God and loving man.
God will bless those who bless the Jews, the descendants of Abraham ( Genesis 12:3)? Cornelius was well respected by the Jews possible because of his heart for the poor, particularly the Jewish poor?
One can never go wrong with prayer. Prayers and gifts to the poor signifying Love of God and man, the greatest commandment, are still not enough for ones salvation! No one can come to the Father except through me ( John 14:6), Jesus says.
But God searches for those hearts that are for Him and seek Him so as to reveal Himself to them ( 2 chronicles 16:9 ).
Cornelius listened and obeyed.
Am I able to discern the voice of the Lord speaking to me?
Am I obedient to the Word of the Lord for my life!?
Divine helpers were sent to Cornelius in the form of Peter and other Jewish brothers in Christ.
Importance of taking time to pray. It brings the presence or revelation of the Lord. Cornelius got an encounter / vision with an angel of God when in prayer at 3pm. Peter also got an encounter with the Lord at around noon ( the sixth hour) when he was in prayer.
Is there a significance of praying at noon and at 3pm?? The hour of darkness on the Cross after which it was finished – we were made the righteousness of God able to boldly approach the throne of Grace. When Mercy was released ( not getting what we deserve, the wages of sin…) and we received Grace ( getting what we don’t deserve, unmerited favour from the Lord, being made the righteousness of God ) .
Man does not live by bread alone but by every Word from the mouth of God (Deut 8:3 ). God sets the rules ( of the game of life) and anything He says is what is established. But the Lord never contradicts His own Word, whether through scripture, dreams and visions, prophetic Words.
The vision repeated 3 times as a confirmation to the perplexed Peter that it is indeed the Lord and His will is for Peter to be obedient to His Word though contrary to Peter’s thinking and feeling.
Does the Lord give us a confirmation of His Word to us 3 times?? For any matter to be established there is need for two or more witnesses (Matthew 18:16, Deut 19:15 )?
Eating of unclean things was part of the law of Moses, but Grace and Truth came by Jesus Christ ( John 1:17 ) . Jesus came to fulfill the law for us ( all men) and gave us access to the Throne of Grace by presenting all those who believe in Him ( by grace through faith) as the righteousness of God in Himself.
Therefore it doesn’t matter what anyone else says about you, God has the final word over your life and that is the only opinion that matters, the only opinion that counts.
# Thank You Jesus that You have made me clean by Your Mercy and that I am now the righteousness of God in You by Your Grace. I believe and receive all that You have available for me by grace through faith. I therefore reject all words spoken and things thought off about me by anyone,(be it family, relatives, friends or the world) that are contrary to Your thoughts and Word over my life. Indeed Lord, all the plans Your have for me are good and not evil, to give me a future and a hope. I repent for any aspect of fear, doubt and unbelief in my life as I declare and decree according to Your Word that I have not been given the spirit of fear but of Love ( of God) , Power (of God) and a sound mind ( of Christ) for every situation that is of the Lord. Therefore grant me the strength and courage to accept, do and persevere in anything that is from You, jump first and ask my questions later. Indeed may the fear of the Lord be upon my life. Amen!
Peter receives a perplexing vision, it is repeated 3 times. The Holy Spirit comes in to comfort and guide. It is for Peter to just listen and obey without hesitation.
The Lord will always empower us to accomplish His will, purposes and plans. It is not by might, nor by power but by the Spirit of the Lord that God does His things ( Zec 4:6). His ways are higher and His thoughts greater than anything we can think or imagine ( Isaiah 55:8-9).
Peter shows hospitality to the gentiles by inviting them to stay with him , a people the Jews were cultured to look down upon. Do I have a negative cultured attitude towards others whether by gender, race, religion, denomination…and could this be preventing me from spreading the Gospel of Jesus Christ, a Gospel full of Love for all mankind?
The Jesus that died for me also died for all, even those that I may want or be inclined to look down upon for whatever reason. And we as Christians shall be known by our love ( John 13:34-35)
The loving heart of Cornelius is shown by how he also invites his relatives and close friends to come and hear from the Lord. Am I ashamed of the Gospel or do I willingly, freely and often use all opportunities to be a witness for Jesus or have my life as a living testimony for Jesus?
# Lord help me to be a better witness for You and to never be ashamed of Your Gospel.
We are mere servants of our master Jesus Christ. It is not about us but all about Jesus and pointing people to Jesus and for Jesus to receive all the honor and glory for our work that is through His power anyway ( Luke 19).
But we are like the donkey carrying Jesus, it was all about Jesus but the donkey had the benefits of having to carry Jesus ( Red carpet treatment for Jesus makes us walk on His red carpet as we carry Him). It is never for us to forget and let the honor and glory due to Jesus get to our head and we mistakenly think it is about us!
Peter understood this when he entered the home of Cornelius and refused worship. Anything or anyone that demands our worship, whether a person (political or religious leader, entertainer or social personality ,…) place or thing ( idols, status) that is not Jesus and Jesus Christ alone is a counterfeit and is probably operating under a spirit of deception, possibly under the spirit of the antiChrist but either way it is still under the influence of the devil.
The devil / Lucifer was an angel that fell because he wanted to be God and be worshiped in place of God. He was the created being closest to God and would see and be envious of the worship that was being received by the Lord. My basic definition of pride is thinking I can be above God in any way or be above His ways or His thinking. ( Isaiah 14:12-14, Ezekiel 28:12-19)
# Lord Jesus, I repent of any aspect of the sin of pride in my life, especially for any aspect in my life were I have sought to take the honor and glory that was due to You alone. Indeed I humble myself before You to acknowledge that my life ( all that I am, all that I have and all that I am able to do) is all about You. I am nothing without You Lord God Almighty, creator of all things and through Whom alone all things are made possible. Amen!
We are called to testify of our encounter with the Lord. We are to believe in our heart and confess with our mouth ( Romans 10:10 ) and we receive from the Lord by grace (unmerited favour – getting what we don’t deserve) through faith ( in Jesus). Faith without works ( of faith, actions that show that we indeed have the faith ) is dead (James 2:17 ) and It is impossible to please God without faith ( Heb 11:16). Possibly the confessing of what Jesus has done makes us come into agreement with His Word and therefore demonstrates our faith in Him.
Peter therefore asked for the testimony from Cornelius to have Cornelius declare through the power of the tongue ( Proverbs 18:21) and as a demonstration and witness to his faith and of a willing heart to hear from the Lord.
The Good News of the Gospel of Jesus Christ is preached to the family, relatives and friends( the gentiles / unbelievers) by Peter.
The Power of a listening heart and the power of the Word
– Releases the presence / Spirit of God
– Releases the gifts of the Holy Spirit – demonstrated by speaking in tongues and the praising of God. The Word does not return to the Lord void but goes forth to accomplish His desires … ( Isaiah 55:11)
The gift of the Holy Spirit is indeed a gift and is not conditional on being ( water?) baptised?? The Holy Spirit is given to a believer as a confirmation of God’s acceptance of the person (Amp). It is our mark of acceptance and a gift we all receive by grace through faith if we believe and receive Jesus Christ as our Lord and Saviour ( Ephesians 2:8 ).
The possibly question may be – Am I filled with the Holy Spirit?
# May the fear of the Lord be upon my life and family and may we always seek to know You, Love You and serve You and do Your will in all things.
May Your Love Lord Jesus saturate my life so that I am empowered by Your Grace to always love You and also be able to reflect Your love to others.
Lord Jesus, May I be able to discern Your voice and be obedient to Your Word. Indeed open my heart and activate my senses to not only see and hear You clearly but that all of my being is also able to experience the fullness of Your presence in the way You choose to reveal Yourself to me.
Lord God Almighty, may You always reveal Yourself to me as the Great I AM, indeed being whatever I need You to be in my life so that I can accomplish Your will, purposes and plans.
May I reflect Your heart of love to all those that I encounter so that they may encounter You through me, with my life being a living testimony that lifts the name of Jesus up so that You may draw all people to Yourself for Your glory. Indeed my life should be about pointing people to Jesus.
Create in me a clean heart oh Lord and renew a steadfast spirit within me so that I always have a listening heart that is fertile ground for the Word of God to take root and grow to bear fruit in my life, abundant fruit that I can share and be a blessing to others all for the glory of the Lord.
May I be continuously filled with the Spirit of the Lord with His manifestation in my life through speaking in tongues and through the magnification and worship of the Lord.