“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!’ 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. Now send men to Joppa to bring back a man named Simon who is called Peter.'” Acts 10:3–5 (NIV84)

I just love this encounter between the Lord and Cornelius. It reminds me how far God will go to reach and to save us. Cornelius is a leader of an Italian regiment in the Roman Empire. Some time prior God had reached into his life and he became a Jewish convert. He gave generously to the synagogue and to the poor. God reached all the way into the Roman soldier’s heart and won it over to Him and the kingdom of God. But recently, Jesus had hit the scene and changed everything. Jesus completely fulfilled the law, died for humanity’s sins and rose from the dead. Given all that change and completeness in the kingdom of God, it was time to reach all the way into Cornelius’ life once again. In a vision from God, he was told to send messengers to Peter in Joppa and have him come back to visit Cornelius. Why? Because God used this encounter to introduce Christianity to Cornelius (but we will address that more in another devotion).

The point I would like to make is that we have the greatest God in the world. He is not like any of the gods of other religions. Our God, the one true God, is on one hand so vast that we can’t wrap our minds around one aspect of His character, and at the same time He is so personal that He knows the needs of our heart, mind and soul and will do anything He can to reach us. Just ponder again what God does just to reach one man (Cornelius). He promises to do the same for you and me. He loves and cares for us so much that He has, is, and will always move heaven and earth to reach us wherever we are and bring us hope, peace and salvation. So, how is God reaching out to you? Are your eyes and ears open to receive him? Cornelius had to wake up from his vision and conclude it was God, and not indigestion, and send messengers to get Peter. What is it that you need to do? Maybe all you need to do is pray, or open your Bible and read, or maybe it’s as simple as taking this devotion to heart.

Step out in faith! Trust that He will honor your faithfulness with His presence and power.

Peace!

Pastor Tom

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