1 There was a certain man in Caesarea called Cornelius, a centurion of the band called the Italian band,
2 A devout man,and one that feared God with all his house, which gave much alms to the people, and prayed to God alway.
3 He saw in a vision evidently about the ninth hour of the day an angel of God coming in to him, and saying unto him, Cornelius.
4 And when he looked on him, he was afraid, and said, What is it, Lord? And he said unto him, Thy prayers and thine alms are come up for a memorial before God.
5 And now send men to Joppa, and call for one Simon, whose surname is Peter:
6 He lodgeth with one Simon a tanner, whose house is by the sea side: he shall tell thee what thou oughtest to do.
7 And when the angel which spake unto Cornelius was departed, he called two of his household servants, and a devout soldier of them that waited on him continually;
8 And when he had declared all these things unto them, he sent them to Joppa.
This is a very important event. It has great significance.
Cornelius was a very high ranking soldier in the Roman army, from Italy. He was an outstanding person. He was a Gentile, but an amazing man. He and his family believed in God and was devout and God-fearing.
This was unusual. The others served idols. But he served the Living God. He lived an outstanding life. He had a heart for the poor and shared with those who lacked.
He soon had a reputation around there for his generosity and godliness. When he met with someone in need he met that need and he prayed regularly, even daily. Some mocked and scorned him for his faith, but he and his family did not regard it but served God.
Imagine what our lives should be like if he as a heathen served God in this way!
One can ask how did he find God?
One morning as he was praying an angel from heaven appeared to him and instructed him to send for Simon Peter, who stayed at the house of Simon the tanner in Joppa.
It was lunch time when they arrived and Peter was hungry. Peter had the vision about the unclean animals that he had to eat, God showing him that if God had cleansed it and declared it clean then it’s clean. As he wondered what it meant he got the message that two men were waiting to see him. As he talked with them he realised how that God was sending him to the heathen, that they too might be saved. He therefore went with them without question.
As he shared with them about Jesus the Holy Spirit came upon them as at Pentecost. It was a revelation to him and the other apostles as they had thought it was only for the Jews (Acts 10:34-35).
God is no respecter of person.
If you fear Him and do what is right in His sight you are acceptable to Him.
This was the first time that the Holy Spirit came down upon Gentiles.
They stayed there for awhile and then Peter went to Jerusalem. As he shared with the brethren at Jerusalem there were those that disagreed with him. They still believed the Gospel was only for the Jews, and couldn’t accept that the Gentiles could also receive the Gospel.
But as Peter shared with them his vision and everything he experienced, and how God had worked among the Gentiles, they were satisfied.
So from that time God made it clear to us all that He doesn’t look if you’re black or white, but rather whether you fear God and do His will.
We may say that it’s not important to care for the poor but this man received the gift of the Holy Spirit, because God had seen his actions.
It’s wonderful, that till this day, every one who fears God and do His will, pleases God and receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.
May we learn this lesson.
There are many in the world saying they are believers, but they are on their way to hell for they walk not as Cornelius walked. They do not fear God or do His will.
What is it like in our homes? The father says one thing, the mother another and the children side with the mother or father. How will our children come right if the parents fight like that?
How will you ever be filled with the Holy Spirit if it’s like that in your home?
Shouldn’t we stop for a moment and say what is my life like, in stead of thinking the children are just rebellious?
Search your life like Cornelius, who was before God seeking His will.
Father and mother what kind of a life do you live in your house?