Wednesday, May 20, 2015

A meeting with an Angel and Cornelius (Acts 10:1-23, John 3:8, Isaiah 30:21)

"We usually never know when we meet angels"
© Karen Kyle Ericson, all rights reserved.

My husband just called to let me know he has to get a hair cut to do a TV commercial where he works.  I'm so proud of him.  How fun!  I never paid much attention to this chapter about Cornelius but it's a really sweet story.

1 There was a man named Cornelius who lived in Caesarea, captain of the Italian Guard stationed there. 2 He was a thoroughly good man. He had led everyone in his house to live worshipfully before God, was always helping people in need, and had the habit of prayer
This is like a dream come true.  Cornelius spent his life honoring God and praying for others.  He led everyone in his house to worship God.  He was known as a man who helped people.  It reminds me to "bless and not curse."  Be sure to pray for others and not just grumble right?

3 One day about three o'clock in the afternoon he had a vision. An angel of God, as real as his next–door neighbor, came in and said, "Cornelius."
Wouldn't it be wonderful to meet an angel of God?  We imagine and maybe sometimes don't realize an angel is present.

4 Cornelius stared hard, wondering if he was seeing things. Then he said, "What do you want, sir?"

The angel said, "Your prayers and neighborly acts have brought you to God's attention. 5 Here's what you are to do. Send men to Joppa to get Simon, the one everyone calls Peter. 6 He is staying with Simon the Tanner, whose house is down by the sea."
It's always a good thing when God sends an angel to say how proud God is of you.  Not so much if you've done something really bad.  But we can find forgiveness by acknowledging and repenting a sin.  Now I would be all over this running out the door before the angel finished what he was saying.  But not Cornelius.  He must've been full of faith, steady, a good man.

7 As soon as the angel was gone, Cornelius called two servants and one particularly devout soldier from the guard. 8 He went over with them in great detail everything that had just happened, and then sent them off to Joppa.
It sounds like Cornelius didn't want to stop doing his good deeds and sent servants in his place.  I'm sure we would've liked him and will like him in Heaven.  Maybe he'll tell us stories.

9 The next day as the three travelers were approaching the town, Peter went out on the balcony to pray. It was about noon. 10 Peter got hungry and started thinking about lunch. While lunch was being prepared, he fell into a trance. 11 He saw the skies open up.

Something that looked like a huge blanket lowered by ropes at its four corners settled on the ground. 12 Every kind of animal and reptile and bird you could think of was on it. 13 Then a voice came:"Go to it, Peter––kill and eat."

14 Peter said, "Oh, no, Lord. I've never so much as tasted food that was not kosher."
15 The voice came a second time:"If God says it's okay, it's okay."
I think God smiled when Peter said that he wouldn't eat the food unless it was blessed by a Priest (kosher).

16 This happened three times, and then the blanket was pulled back up into the skies.
17 As Peter, puzzled, sat there trying to figure out what it all meant, the men sent by Cornelius showed up at Simon's front door. 18 They called in, asking if there was a Simon, also called Peter, staying there. 19 Peter, lost in thought, didn't hear them, so the Spirit whispered to him, "Three men are knocking at the door looking for you. 20 Get down there and go with them. Don't ask any questions. I sent them to get you."
We don't understand all that happens around and to us.  It reminds me of these verses:
8 The wind blows where it wishes, and you hear the sound of it, but cannot tell where it comes from and where it goes. So is everyone who is born of the Spirit.
(John 3:8 NKJV)
21 Your ears shall hear a word behind you, saying, “This is the way, walk in it,” Whenever you turn to the right hand or whenever you turn to the left.
(Isaiah 30:21 NKJV)
It's fascinating to think we could be talking to an angel one day and not even realize.

21 Peter went down and said to the men, "I think I'm the man you're looking for. What's up?"

22 They said, "Captain Cornelius, a God–fearing man well–known for his fair play––ask any Jew in this part of the country––was commanded by a holy angel to get you and bring you to his house so he could hear what you had to say." 23 Peter invited them in and made them feel at home.
(Acts 10:1-23 Message)

Here's a song-
Toby Mac, Speak Life (link)

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