Tag: Peter’s reluctance
Scripture reading for November 10th: Acts 10-12
Have you ever struggled to understand what God is doing and wants to do? You are in good company! In this section of Acts, the Apostle Peter needed a vision from the Lord to help him overcome an area of prejudice that came from his Jewish upbringing and religion. Sometimes we learn things wrong and God knows how to work with us to get us straightened out again. Thank God for His mercy and patience!
This story begins with a Gentile centurion named Cornelius who feared God and gave generously to those in need as well as praying regularly. One day, Cornelius had a vision and saw an angel of God who spoke his name plainly! (Acts 10:3) The angel told him that his prayers and gifts to the poor had come before the Lord and that he should send for a man named Simon Peter to come. In the meantime, God gave a vision to Simon Peter while he was on the roof praying. In this vision he saw a sheet with all kind of animals, reptiles, and birds of the air. A voice told him to get up, kill, and eat! Peter protested to the Lord that he had never eaten anything unclean. The voice spoke a second time warning him not to call anything impure that God had made clean. This had happened three times when the men who came from Cornelius knocked on the door. The Spirit spoke to Peter about them and told him to go with them. Peter heard and obeyed, inviting the men in and then going with them.
The next day, they entered the house of a Gentile, something a good Jew would never do. Cornelius told him about his vision and why he sent for him. He invited Peter to speak to them all the Lord would have him say. What an open invitation! Peter began to preach the Gospel and as he preached, the Holy Spirit came upon them and they all began to speak in tongues and praise God just like on the day of Pentecost! Peter and all the Jews with him were amazed at what God had done and they baptized these new believers in water. Peter stayed with them a few days.
What can we learn from this? First, God knows how to reach people who are hungry for more! He will work with sincere believers who have prejudice to help them with truth. He recognized these Gentiles for their prayers, gifts to the poor and seeking of God. Their works came before the Lord and He acted to send them a person who could help them understand Him more fully. God is no respecter of persons. He gave the same Holy Spirit to the Gentiles as those in that upper room on Pentecost! What a wonderful Savior! Spend time in prayer today seeking the Lord for clarity and new direction! You can have a new Pentecost today!