In this amazing chapter of Acts we are introduced to Cornelius.
Vs 2 “a devout man of extraordinary character who worshipped God and prayed regularly, together with all of his family. He also had a heart for the poor and gave generously to help them”
That would be amazing to carry such a reputation. One would think that that would have been enough to gain him an entry into the courts of heaven – but the truth is that Jesus is the only way to the Father.
Cornelius did not know that – no one had told him.
He was not part of the angry mob of Jewish leaders trying to put a stop to the Good News of Christ – he was a Gentile, an outsider to the faith of the Jews. Not acceptable. Forever cast out because of his “Gentileness”!
I too was like that. No one had ever told me about Jesus. A good guy, living a good life but still outside of the knowledge of Jesus and His “wonderful news of hope and peace”(vs36).
Until THAT day.
My sister had two friends come to visit and being obedient to the promptings of the Holy Spirit asked if they could pray for me. They invited me to church and their Good News of Jesus became my living hope. No dressing up, no changing my behavior, no Ts & Cs – I had to just simply “believe in Him and receive complete forgiveness of sins through the power of His Name.” (vs 42)
In Acts 10 I see the obedience of 2 men that, through their obedience to the promptings of God, opened a MASSIVE DOOR OF OPPORTUNITY to millions of people – Gentiles, non-Jews – me and, most probably, you.
Two simple acts
Cornelius sends men to find Peter (vs 7-8)
Peter goes with those men to Cornelius (vs 23-24)
Two acts of obedience.
One quite a bit braver than the other – Peter going into a Gentile’s house – a forbidden act as a Jew – after a vision is repeated 3 times (Peter needs to be spoken to 3 times it seems!!)
This is, according to the commentators, the biggest shift in the book of Acts – a Pivotal moment.
And – all because of the obedience of 2 men to God.
Was Cornelius the key and Peter the ‘door handle turner’?
I don’t know, but what is evident is the massive door of opportunity for salvation was opened. The door to something that neither man could anticipate or expect.
This story got me thinking again about those 2 men who I encountered in my home who were obedient to the Holy Spirit – their obedience opened a massive door of salvation to me.
My life has been altered since that moment. Others have been introduced to Jesus since then. They opened more than just a door for me. And I doubt they even knew it.
Did Peter and Cornelius know what was going to happen? I don’t think so!
But, they were obedient anyway.
What is God asking you to do? What dreams/trances have you had from God? What has God told you to do and it seems so small?
Watch and see what God will do with your small acts of obedience to Him!
“While Peter was speaking, the Holy Spirit cascaded over all who were listening to his message.” (vs 44).
Have you got a key to a door of God-opportunity?
Just obey Him.