The Living Church: Cornelius

Acts 10

Today is your day.
You’re off to Great Places!
You’re off and away!

You have brains in your head.
You have feet in your shoes.
You can steer yourself
any direction you choose.
You’re on your own. And you know what you know.
And YOU are the guy who’ll decide where to go.

You’ll look up and down streets. Look ’em over with care.
About some you will say, “I don’t choose to go there.”
With your head full of brains and your shoes full of feet,
you’re too smart to go down any not-so-good street. ( )

You have the Holy Spirit guiding you. (I added this part!)
When you follow Jesus, you’ll meet unexpected people.
“Out there things can happen, and frequently do,
To people as brainy and footsy as you.
And when things start to happen, don’t worry, don’t stew.
Just go right along, you’ll start happening too!”
― Dr. Seuss, Oh, The Places You’ll Go! ( )

You have to hand it to Dr. Seuss. He spoke some truth through his books. Children would learn many words and ideas through reading Dr. Seuss’ books. I think there is some truth from Oh, The Places You’ll Go which helps us. Peter had to travel to see Cornelius. For when the Holy Spirit tells us to go see someone, we have the decision to follow what we are told. Cornelius also listens to the Holy Spirit as well.

A. Cornelius sends for Peter (10:1-8)
+++ 1. Centurion, of the Italian cohort
+++ 2. Devout man, he and his household feared God
+++ 3. Gave generously and prayed to God
+++ 4. Vision! – send for Simon called Peter
+++ 5. Cornelius’ men went to gather up Peter from Joppa
+++ 6. But Cornelius is not the only man to see a message from God. Peter falls into a trance.

B. Peter gets hungry and has a dream/vision (10:9-16)
+++ 1. “I have never eaten anything that is profane or unclean.”
+++ 2. “What God has made clean, you must not call profane.”
+++ 3. What does this mean for Peter? He doesn’t know, but he must go.

C. Peter is invited to go to Cornelius (10:17-22)
+++ 1. Cornelius’ men arrive to take Peter to Caesarea
+++ 2. The Holy Spirit told Peter to go with the men
+++ 3. Some of the believers went with Peter
+++ 4. Up to this point we realize that two men in two different cities have received word from God that they must meet each other. Both men respond to the Holy Spirit and get to meet each other. Watch what God does when they meet!

D. Cornelius explains his side of the story (10:23-33)
+++ 1. With him are his family and friends
+++ 2. Peter said that Jews are not to associate with Gentiles in their homes
+++ 3. Cornelius tells Peter about his vision
+++ 4. Then Peter speaks what the Holy Spirit tells him to preach

E. Peter preaches and Gentiles are baptized! (10:34-48)
+++ 1. God shows no partiality – for those who fear him and do what is right
+++ 2. Jesus Christ – he is Lord of all
+++ 3. Jesus of Nazareth was anointed with power
+++ 4. He did good and set people free from the devil
+++ 5. Jesus died on a tree, but he rose from the dead!
+++ 6. Jesus is the judge of the living and the dead
+++ 7. Believe in Jesus, then receive forgiveness of sins
+++ 8. Cornelius & his household, Gentiles, receive the Holy Spirit
+++ 9. Then they are baptized, just like the Jews on Pentecost

If either Cornelius or Peter had ignored God talking to them, then Cornelius would not believe in Jesus. But both men listened to God’s Holy Spirit. And Cornelius became a believer in Jesus Christ.

What about you, has God given you a vision to go speak with someone? What have you done with what God has told you to do?

When the Holy Spirit tells us to speak with someone, we go to that person. How many people can become believers in Jesus Christ when make the decision to go to whom we are told to go? I sure hope we can make the decision to follow what God tells us.


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