Day 15 - Concord Student Journey
At Caesarea there was a man named Cornelius, a centurion in what was known as the Italian Regiment. 2 He and all his family were devout and God-fearing; he gave generously to those in need and prayed to God regularly. 3 One day at about three in the afternoon he had a vision. He distinctly saw an angel of God, who came to him and said, “Cornelius!”
4 Cornelius stared at him in fear. “What is it, Lord?” he asked.
The angel answered, “Your prayers and gifts to the poor have come up as a memorial offering before God. 5 Now send men to Joppa to bring back a man named Simon who is called Peter. 6 He is staying with Simon the tanner, whose house is by the sea.”
7 When the angel who spoke to him had gone, Cornelius called two of his servants and a devout soldier who was one of his attendants. 8 He told them everything that had happened and sent them to Joppa.
9 About noon the following day as they were on their journey and approaching the city, Peter went up on the roof to pray. 10 He became hungry and wanted something to eat, and while the meal was being prepared, he fell into a trance. 11 He saw heaven opened and something like a large sheet being let down to earth by its four corners. 12 It contained all kinds of four-footed animals, as well as reptiles and birds. 13 Then a voice told him, “Get up, Peter. Kill and eat.”
14 “Surely not, Lord!” Peter replied. “I have never eaten anything impure or unclean.”
15 The voice spoke to him a second time, “Do not call anything impure that God has made clean.”
16 This happened three times, and immediately the sheet was taken back to heaven.
17 While Peter was wondering about the meaning of the vision, the men sent by Cornelius found out where Simon’s house was and stopped at the gate. 18 They called out, asking if Simon who was known as Peter was staying there.
19 While Peter was still thinking about the vision, the Spirit said to him, “Simon, three[a] men are looking for you. 20 So get up and go downstairs. Do not hesitate to go with them, for I have sent them.”
21 Peter went down and said to the men, “I’m the one you’re looking for. Why have you come?”
22 The men replied, “We have come from Cornelius the centurion. He is a righteous and God-fearing man, who is respected by all the Jewish people. A holy angel told him to ask you to come to his house so that he could hear what you have to say.” 23 Then Peter invited the men into the house to be his guests.
In Acts chapter 10, we read about a man named Cornelius. Cornelius was a centurion in the Italian Regiment, a devout man who feared God, and a man of good reputation. One day, while he was praying, an angel of God appeared to him and told him to send men to Joppa to find Peter. Meanwhile, Peter was on the rooftop praying when he had a vision of a sheet with all kinds of animals that were considered unclean. God told Peter to get up and eat, but Peter refused because he knew that these animals were unclean. God then told him not to call anything impure that God had made clean. Shortly after, Cornelius' men arrived, and the Holy Spirit instructed Peter to go with them to meet Cornelius. This encounter led to Cornelius and his entire household being saved and baptized.
What can we learn from this story?
Firstly, God's plan is often beyond our comprehension. Cornelius was a Gentile, and Peter was a Jew, and the two were not supposed to interact with each other. However, God had a plan for both of them, and their meeting led to the salvation of many. We must be open to God's plan for our lives, even if it goes against what we believe or what we think is right.
Secondly, we must not let our prejudices and preconceived notions get in the way of God's plan. Peter had always believed that certain animals were unclean, and therefore, he refused to eat them. However, God showed him that he had made all things clean. Similarly, we may have prejudices or biases that prevent us from seeing things as God sees them. We must ask God to reveal any prejudices we have and be willing to let them go.
Are there any prejudices or biases that I hold that may be hindering God's plan for my life?
Am I willing to be open to God's plan, even if it goes against what I believe or what I think is right?
Let us pray: Dear God, help us to be open to your plan for our lives, even when it goes against what we believe or what we think is right. Help us to let go of any prejudices or biases that we may hold, and help us to see things as you see them. Amen.
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