“And when he observed him, he was afraid, and said, “What is it, lord?”
So he said to him, “Your prayers and your alms have come up for a memorial before God.” Acts 10:4 NKJV
Today’s reading is super important for all of us who are not Jewish. This is the first time the Bible was preached to the gentiles. And it started with a gentile who believed in God and prayed to Him and made alms to Him, even though the man had very little understanding of who God is. And God heard it and made a memorial of it. And went about getting Peter there.
So if you are new to this and/or do not have a good understanding of God – it doesn’t matter. God will hear your prayers and get you the information you need to grow closer to Him. All God wants is to be able to be close to us and have us want to be close to Him. If you want a relationship with God, then you are in a good place and God will make the way.
Do you already have a relationship with a powerful God who cares about your every need because He loves you? Did you know my God can communicate with you and protect you – He has a plan for you to prosper if you just submit to His will and let His plan play out in your life!!! God wants a relationship with you and has already made a plan for your life. He loves you so much He sent His son to this world, to die as a sacrifice for your sins and rise from death with victory over sin and the ability to have a personal relationship with you.
“If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved.” Romans 10:9-10 NIV
Here is a prayer for you to pray:
Jesus, I believe you are the way, the truth, the life, and the only way to the Father. I believe you are the son of God, you came to Earth and lived. That you died on the cross as a sacrifice for my sins, and rose again so that I may be saved from my sins and be able to get to know you. I declare: Jesus, you are Lord!
Therefore, I confess that I am a sinner and I ask that you forgive me of my sins and come into my life. Help me to turn away from my sins and transform me into what you have lovingly created me to be. Help me through a real personal relationship grow and accept your will for my life – that I may live in your blessings. Please walk with me, and talk with me – I accept a relationship with you and with our Father God, through you. In the name of Jesus I pray ~ Amen
Dear Heavenly Father – Please give us the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of who you are, who Jesus is, and who the Holy Spirit is. Open the eyes of our understanding, please, so we may know the hope of our calling and the vast sovereignty and power of the grace of the cross. Please do not let us miss out on what you want and need from us today. Lord, I pray that your word prepares us and not scares us! We forbid the works and influences of fear over your word and our sound mind. And please keep us and bless us and shine your face upon us and pour out grace over us and give us peace! Thank you! – In Jesus name we pray, Amen
Today’s reading is the Book of Acts chapter 10 (embedded below for your convenience in the NKJV).
Cornelius Sends a Delegation
10 There was a certain man in Caesarea called Cornelius, a centurion of what was called the Italian [a]Regiment, 2 a devout man and one who feared God with all his household, who gave [b]alms generously to the people, and prayed to God always. 3 About [c]the ninth hour of the day he saw clearly in a vision an angel of God coming in and saying to him, “Cornelius!”
4 And when he observed him, he was afraid, and said, “What is it, lord?”
So he said to him, “Your prayers and your alms have come up for a memorial before God. 5 Now send men to Joppa, and send for Simon whose surname is Peter. 6 He is lodging with Simon, a tanner, whose house is by the sea. He[d] will tell you what you must do.” 7 And when the angel who spoke to him had departed, Cornelius called two of his household servants and a devout soldier from among those who waited on him continually. 8 So when he had explained all these things to them, he sent them to Joppa.
9 The next day, as they went on their journey and drew near the city, Peter went up on the housetop to pray, about [e]the sixth hour. 10 Then he became very hungry and wanted to eat; but while they made ready, he fell into a trance 11 and saw heaven opened and an object like a great sheet bound at the four corners, descending to him and let down to the earth. 12 In it were all kinds of four-footed animals of the earth, wild beasts, creeping things, and birds of the air. 13 And a voice came to him, “Rise, Peter; kill and eat.”
14 But Peter said, “Not so, Lord! For I have never eaten anything common or unclean.”
15 And a voice spoke to him again the second time, “What God has [f]cleansed you must not call common.” 16 This was done three times. And the object was taken up into heaven again.
Summoned to Caesarea
17 Now while Peter [g]wondered within himself what this vision which he had seen meant, behold, the men who had been sent from Cornelius had made inquiry for Simon’s house, and stood before the gate. 18 And they called and asked whether Simon, whose surname was Peter, was lodging there.
19 While Peter thought about the vision, the Spirit said to him, “Behold, three men are seeking you. 20 Arise therefore, go down and go with them, doubting nothing; for I have sent them.”
21 Then Peter went down to the men [h]who had been sent to him from Cornelius, and said, “Yes, I am he whom you seek. For what reason have you come?”
22 And they said, “Cornelius the centurion, a just man, one who fears God and has a good reputation among all the nation of the Jews, was divinely instructed by a holy angel to summon you to his house, and to hear words from you.” 23 Then he invited them in and lodged them.
On the next day Peter went away with them, and some brethren from Joppa accompanied him.
Peter Meets Cornelius
24 And the following day they entered Caesarea. Now Cornelius was waiting for them, and had called together his relatives and close friends. 25 As Peter was coming in, Cornelius met him and fell down at his feet and worshiped him. 26 But Peter lifted him up, saying, “Stand up; I myself am also a man.” 27 And as he talked with him, he went in and found many who had come together. 28 Then he said to them, “You know how unlawful it is for a Jewish man to keep company with or go to one of another nation. But God has shown me that I should not call any man common or unclean. 29 Therefore I came without objection as soon as I was sent for. I ask, then, for what reason have you sent for me?”
30 So Cornelius said, [i]“Four days ago I was fasting until this hour; and at the ninth hour I prayed in my house, and behold, a man stood before me in bright clothing, 31 and said, ‘Cornelius, your prayer has been heard, and your [j]alms are remembered in the sight of God. 32 Send therefore to Joppa and call Simon here, whose surname is Peter. He is lodging in the house of Simon, a tanner, by the sea. [k]When he comes, he will speak to you.’ 33 So I sent to you immediately, and you have done well to come. Now therefore, we are all present before God, to hear all the things commanded you by God.”
Preaching to Cornelius’ Household
34 Then Peter opened his mouth and said: “In truth I perceive that God shows no partiality. 35 But in every nation whoever fears Him and works righteousness is accepted by Him. 36 The word which God sent to the [l]children of Israel, preaching peace through Jesus Christ—He is Lord of all— 37 that word you know, which was proclaimed throughout all Judea, and began from Galilee after the baptism which John preached: 38 how God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with power, who went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil, for God was with Him. 39 And we are witnesses of all things which He did both in the land of the Jews and in Jerusalem, whom [m]they killed by hanging on a tree. 40 Him God raised up on the third day, and showed Him openly, 41 not to all the people, but to witnesses chosen before by God, even to us who ate and drank with Him after He arose from the dead. 42 And He commanded us to preach to the people, and to testify that it is He who was ordained by God to be Judge of the living and the dead. 43 To Him all the prophets witness that, through His name, whoever believes in Him will receive remission[n] of sins.”
The Holy Spirit Falls on the Gentiles
44 While Peter was still speaking these words, the Holy Spirit fell upon all those who heard the word. 45 And [o]those of the circumcision who believed were astonished, as many as came with Peter, because the gift of the Holy Spirit had been poured out on the Gentiles also. 46 For they heard them speak with tongues and magnify God.
Then Peter answered, 47 “Can anyone forbid water, that these should not be baptized who have received the Holy Spirit just as we have?” 48 And he commanded them to be baptized in the name of the Lord. Then they asked him to stay a few days.
- Acts 10:1 Cohort
- Acts 10:2 charitable gifts
- Acts 10:3 3 p.m.
- Acts 10:6 NU, M omit the rest of v. 6.
- Acts 10:9 Noon
- Acts 10:15 Declared clean
- Acts 10:17 was perplexed
- Acts 10:21 NU, M omit who had been sent to him from Cornelius
- Acts 10:30 NU Four days ago to this hour, at the ninth hour
- Acts 10:31 charitable gifts
- Acts 10:32 NU omits the rest of v. 32.
- Acts 10:36 Lit. sons
- Acts 10:39 NU, M they also
- Acts 10:43 forgiveness
- Acts 10:45 The Jews
MEMORY VERSE CHALLENGE:
Matthew 5:16– “Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.”
Today the gentiles meet Jesus. Remember the gentile lady in Matthew who came and asked for help from Jesus, and he said it isn’t time – he can’t give the children’s food to the dogs. And she said, she wanted the scraps that the dogs get. That s all she wanted. Well, lady, IT IS TIME!
It is time for the gentile to have more than just the scraps. It is time for the latter rains. It is time for signs and wonders. (We have a lot of talk and prophetic words of miracles… but it is not time for the mouth. It is time for action – lame to walk, demons to be cast out, healings and the dead coming back to join us!)
We need to take what little faith and belief we have and use it to be faithful as God it faithful. We will see the promises pour out, the provisions to provide for you and for all around you and then for the community and beyond. Cornelius believed, prayed and saw an angel and God moved.
I am sure you have heard it before somewhere – I haven’t said it here in a couple years. But faith requires and action. If you are sitting there hoping it will happen – do not hold your breath. Hope is not faith. And faith always requires something of you. Cornelius’s faith required he send 3 men to Joppa to find Peter. What is your action to activate your faith?
Assuming you have read the passage and I do not need to recap every detail. Let’s discuss the images in Peter’s vision. We understand by reading what the dream means. But what are we picturing?
Let’s imagine the world back in time, it’s 40 – 60 years after Jesus was born, what are the sights that Peter in seeing while at Simon the Tanner’s house down by the port and docks? I assume he is seeing boats, and as a fisherman, he was familiar with boats. But the port would have larger boats with bigger cargo than a net full of fish. How did they get those big things onto and off of boats back then?
Did you know ancient Greece and Rome, during this time, was almost as advanced as the early 18oo’s in England were in technology? Much of their technology was lost to civilization when the fall of Rome happened. And it took a very long time for society to relearn how to make much of the technology (and as well as) the Romans! It is true! The first steam powered machine was a created by an ancient Greek, probably around this same time period. (Remind me to tell you about it when we study Ephesians – the inventor lived in Ephesus.) The writings of it were lost until the Renaissance, and in the 1900s archeologists were able to discover, uncover and confirm these inventions and machines did exist.
These Archeologist learned that they used a form of a crane, on a rope pulley systems. They would lay out a big woven canvas or blanket (because it was woven, it was square) and then they would put the cargo onto it. Then tie up the four corners to the rope on the crane like machine and it would lift the cargo up and swing it where it needed to be and lower it back down. Then open it up and take the cargo off.
God lowered one of these into Peter’s vision. And when he went to open it up, God told him to eat from it. But inside was only unclean meat. Peter’s vision ends and Cornelius’s men arrive.
Now it is time for Peter’s faith action. And Peter had the faith and went with them, even though Peter didn’t understand what was going on.
I can’t help but laugh at the conversation between Peter and Cornelius. God told Cornelius to get Peter and Peter would explain. God told Peter to go to Cornelius and didn’t say why. So Peter’s is all: why am I here? And Cornelius is all expectant and like, when you telling us what God told you to tell us? They both look at each other, lost and confused, and asked: what’s going on?
God did all this work to get this divine appointment pulled together – and now it was time for Peter and Cornelius to do their part.
So Peter understanding that people aren’t unclean – preaches Jesus to Cornelius and his family. Then the Holy Spirit fall in full confirmation that the Lord supports this work and it is indeed time for the gentiles to meet Jesus!
And Praise God that all this happened! Because now – they can preach to ALL MEN! Oh the kingdom of Heaven is at hand! It is time for the promises of God! Father Abraham was promised to be the father of many nations and it is proven by the almost 50 countries this blog has reached that he has decedents in spirit in many nations!! And there are believers in every known nation of this world! It is time for more promises to be fulfilled. It is time for God to move, for healings and signs and wonders! It is time! Most importantly, it is time to draw closer to God and have a real relationship with Him.
Thank you for reading in 2022 – a Year of Wisdom and Salvation
May the God of peace keep you and bless you. May you stay focused on Christ and covered in grace.
Maranatha ~ Come Lord Jesus!