263 of 365 - In His Service
And the believers from among the circumcised who had come with Peter were amazed, because the gift of the Holy Spirit was poured out even on the Gentiles. Acts 10:45
God gives Peter insight and clear instructions. God is gentle with Peter, knowing this would be hard for him as his heart is being softened and long-held ideas shattered.
Peter accompanies the men sent by Cornelius to Caesarea. Something unheard of and strictly forbidden…or at least Peter thought. Devout Jews didn’t associate with Gentiles. Peter could have rattled off a list of Old Testament passages that supported staying away. But Peter obeys God. It is important to know that God is not inconsistent. While the Israelites were a set apart people before the blood of Jesus washed away all sins perfectly and permanently, God also told them that His Salvation was for all nations. God promised Abraham that the blessing to come through his descendants would extend to all nations. God will never call us to do something that is not in line with His Word or character.
Peter enters the house of Cornelius acknowledging, “it is unlawful for a Jew to associate or visit anyone of another nation, but God has shown me that I should not call any person common or unclean.” Barriers are breaking down. Peter realizing the vision is about more than just food. Peter continues, “Truly I understand that God shows no partiality, but in every nation, anyone who fears him and does what is right is acceptable to him.” Then he shares the Gospel as he would with a fellow Jew. Mid-sermon the Holy Spirit falls on all who heard the word. The Holy Spirit came to these believing Gentiles as it had to the believing Jews.
Cornelius becomes the first of many Gentile converts to Christianity. The angel that appeared to Cornelius could have shared the Gospel with him, but God graciously orchestrated Peter to be the one to step out of his comfort zone and prejudices and witness the start of something beautiful.
Challenge: Spend time in prayer asking God to reveal any prejudices you may have that are keeping you from seeing His perfect plans. Ask God to open your eyes, mind, and heart to His truth.
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