Tag: comfort zone

Peter and the “Gentile” Pentecost!

Scripture reading for June 16th: Acts 10:24-48

Peter got out of his comfort zone, and went with the men to the house of Cornelius.  He found a large crowd of people awaiting his arrival and explained to them how God had helped him overcome his religious fear of becoming unclean in the house of a Gentile.   (Acts 10:27-28)

Peter asked Cornelius why he had sent for him. Cornelius told Peter and the crowd about the vision he had and instructions to send for Peter.  “Now we are all here in the presence of God to listen to everything the Lord has commanded you to tell us.” (Acts 10:33b)  This invitation opened the door wide for Peter to preach the full Gospel message!

After telling the people that God accepts people of all nations who fear God, Peter preached Jesus Christ. “You know the message God sent to the people of Israel, telling the good news of peace through Jesus Christ, who is Lord of all.  You know what happened through out Judea, beginning in Galilee after the baptism that John preached–how God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and power, and how He went around doing good and healing all who were under the power of the devil, because God was with Him.” (Acts 10:34-38)   He then told them about the crucifixion and resurrection on the third day and Jesus’ command for the disciples to preach that Jesus is the judge of the living and dead.  Peter told about forgiveness of sins for all who would believe in Jesus’ name.

As Peter was preaching, the Holy Spirit came on all who were listening.  Peter and his Jewish Christian companions who had been baptized in the Holy Spirit at the first Pentecost now heard these Gentiles also speaking in other tongues and praising God!  God was no respecter of persons or nationalities!  Peter ordered them baptized in water and stayed to instruct them.

Have you experienced Pentecost?  Don’t just read about it and think it was nice for them!  It is for today!  “Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of sins.  And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.  The promise is for you and your children and for all who are far off– all whom the Lord our God will call.” (Acts 2:38-39)

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Out of our comfort zone!

Scripture reading for June 15th: Acts 10:1-23

Has God ever asked you to do something that was beyond your ‘comfort zone’?  Did you struggle to really know that it was God speaking?  In today’s reading, we see how God speaks to believers and Gentiles to bring them together so that His will and purposes will be established.  God is not so concerned with our comfort as with our obedience!

At Caesarea, a Roman Centurion named Cornelius was known as a God-fearing man who gave generously to the poor.  One afternoon, he had a vision in which an angel of the Lord appeared to him and called his name.  He responded and the angel spoke to him: “Your prayers and gifts to the poor  have come up as a memorial offering before God.  Now send men to Joppa to bring back a man named Simon who is called Peter.  He is staying with Simon the tanner, whose house is by the sea.” (Acts 10:4b-6)  It is interesting to note that our giving comes before the Lord and gets His attention.  God misses nothing.  Because of his giving, God instructed the angel to go and have Cornelius send for the apostle Peter.  He told him exactly where to go.  God also knows right where we live!  He doesn’t need a GPS!

As the men went to get Peter, he was on his roof praying as he awaited his meal.  He experienced a vision from God.  “He saw heaven opened and something like a large sheet being let down to earth by its four corners.  It contained all kinds of four-footed animals, as well as reptiles and birds of the air.  Then a voice told him, “Get up, Peter. Kill and eat.” (Acts 10:11-15)  Peter initial refused because he believed that these foods were unclean.  The voice spoke again, “Do not call anything impure that God has made clean.” Peter saw and heard this three times before the vision ended.

As the men arrived at Peter’s house and the Spirit spoke to Peter telling him to go down and greet them and go with them.  Peter’s comfort zone had been enlarged by God to enable him to go and share the Gospel with these Gentiles!  Are you open to have God enlarge you ‘comfort zone’?  He wants to take you to some new places of witness!  Pray and wait for the vision!

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