Though the story of Peter being called to go and share the good news in the home of Cornelius has an overarching theme that the gospel is for everyone, the thing that struck me as I read the account in Acts this morning, was Peter’s attitude adjustment, in such a short time.
Back in Matthew 18:1-6, as the disciples were traveling with Jesus, and learning and growing beside Him as He led them, they were arguing one day, about which among them would be the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. Somehow, in all of the attention, their priorities had become askew. Jesus quickly set the record straight, “And He said: ‘I tell you the truth, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Therefore, whoever humbles himself like this child will be greatest in the kingdom of heaven.” -(Matthew 18:3-4)
Fast forward past Christ’s crucifixion, resurrection, ascension, and the impartation of the Holy Spirit. While in Joppa, Peter had been assured in a vision that he was to go to the home of Cornelius, to share the good news of Christ. He willingly went with the men Cornelius had sent, when they had arrived to lead him. “As Peter entered the house, Cornelius met him and fell at his feet in reverence. But Peter made him get up. ‘Stand up,’ he said, ‘I am only a man myself.” – (Acts 10:25-26) Peter was quick to humble himself and point Cornelius to Christ. Despite the potential draw of being adored by such a powerful person, Peter prioritized the presentation of truth, and maintained his position of humility as a servant of Christ. Because of Peter’s willing submission to God’s call, Cornelius and his entire household came to Christ. Being a man of high position, I imagine Cornelius had a tremendous impact on many people.
allow the Lord lead;
be willing to give,
as we see a need.
Trust Him to show us,
what we’re meant to do;
listen to His voice,
Seek not position,
of honor, nor fame;
and if it’s given,
point straight to His Name.
Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You are our Source and Supply, and the reason we are able to do anything good in this life. Thank You for such great examples of change, as You show us how to be more like Christ in what we say and do. Forgive us for not walking in humility, or for not giving credit where credit is due. Thank You that all good that we do, is done in Your strength, and that the life You are calling us to, is only possible in You. May we be invested in You, so that Your light shines through us. May many come to see Your light through our love, and ultimately, come into a lasting relationship with You. Be exalted, our great and mighty God. Amen.
© Shannon Elizabeth Moreno and Revelations in Writing, May 2011 – present.
Show me your ways, O Lord, teach me your paths; … my hope is in You all day long.
- Psalm 25:4-5
“And I looked, and behold a white cloud, and upon the cloud one sat like unto the Son of man, having on his head a golden crown, and in his hand a sharp sickle.” (Revelation 14:14)
This is the last of some 87 New Testament references (84 in the four gospels, one in Acts, none in the epistles, two in Revelation) to Christ as the Son of man. Here we see the Son of man coming on a white cloud from heaven (just as He had ascended into heaven after His resurrection) as the conquering King of all the earth.
What a contrast is this to the first New Testament reference to the Son of man. “The foxes have holes, and the birds of the air have nests; but the Son of man hath not where to lay his head” (Matthew 8:20). From humility and poverty on Earth to power and riches in heaven, and for all eternity—this was His journey when Christ left His heavenly glory to join the human family.
In between the poverty and the power lay the whole human experience, for He “was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin” (Hebrews 4:15). Finally, as Son of man He must die for man’s sin, for “the Son of man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men, and be crucified, and the third day rise again” (Luke 24:7). Even in heaven He is still the Son of man, for Stephen saw Him thus: “Behold, I see the heavens opened, and the Son of man standing on the right hand of God” (Acts 7:56).
There is, indeed, a great man in the glory! Christ called Himself “the Son of man” much more often than “the Son of God,” though He will eternally be both, the God/man. He delights to identify with those whom He has redeemed, for He “is not ashamed to call them brethren” (Hebrews 2:11). “Whom do men say that I the Son of man am?” asked Jesus. Then we say, with Peter, “Thou art . . . the Son of the living God” (Matthew16:13, 16). HMM
“Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world.” (1 John2:15)
We must be wary of the world’s “things,” because we are “in the world,” not “of the world” (John 17:11-16). The command in our text is that we are not to love the world or its things, not that we should remain blissfully ignorant of them. We are to be “wise as serpents, and harmless as doves” (Matthew 10:16).
There are big things of the world like nations and kingdoms (Matthew 4:8; Luke 12:30), as well as cares and riches (Mark 4:19), that can sap our focus and drain our loyalties. And there are “rudiments” and “elements” (Colossians 2:20; Galatians 4:3) that can twist our thinking and “spoil” us (Colossians 2:8).
We are warned that friendship with the worldly lifestyle and that which espouses the “things” of the world makes us an “enemy of God” (James 4:4). That is because such people embrace the “spirit of the world” and not “the spirit which is of God” (1 Corinthians 2:12). Those people speak about the things of the world, and the world listens to them (1 John 4:5).
God’s people may be “base” and “weak”—even “foolish” in the eyes of the world (1 Corinthians 1:27-28). Since the great Creator God has chosen us out of the world (John 15:19), it should not surprise us that the world “hates” those who belong to the Lord Jesus (John 17:14). Hence, the ungodly passions that drive the ungodly behavior of the world, “the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world” (1 John 2:16).
Those passions and the people who embrace them will “pass away.” But “he that doeth the will of God abideth forever” (1 John 2:17). HMM III
It may be said without qualification that every man is as holy and as full of the Spirit as he wants to be. He may not be as full as he wishes he were, but he is most certainly as full as he wants to be.
Our Lord placed this beyond dispute when He said, “Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled.” Hunger and thirst are physical sensations which, in their acute stages, may become real pain. It has been the experience of countless seekers after God that when their desires became a pain they were suddenly and wonderfully filled. The problem is not to persuade God to fill us, but to want God sufficiently to permit Him to do so. The average Christian is so cold and so contented with His wretched condition that there is no vacuum of desire into which the blessed Spirit can rush in satisfying fullness. Born After Midnight, 8.
So much time is wasted worrying about tomorrow that we forget that today is passing by without us!
“Therefore, I tell you, don’t worry about your life — what you will eat or drink; or about your body — what you will wear. Isn’t life more than food and the body more than clothing?
For nightmares come from worrying too much; and a fool, when he speaks, chatters too much.
Can any of you by worrying add a single hour to his life?
Don’t worry about tomorrow — tomorrow will worry about itself! Today has enough tsuris already!
Sometimes it has to get really dark for those who are searching for you, to see your light! If you extinguish it yourself because you doubt, you doom those looking for the light and possibly yourself!
The spirit of man is the candle of the LORD, searching all the inward parts of the belly.
For there shall be no reward to the evil man; the candle of the wicked shall be put out.
If thy whole body therefore be full of light, having no part dark, the whole shall be full of light, as when the bright shining of a candle doth give thee light.
And he said unto them, Is a candle brought to be put under a bushel, or under a bed? and not to be set on a candlestick?
No man, when he hath lighted a candle, covereth it with a vessel, or putteth it under a bed; but setteth it on a candlestick, that they which enter in may see the light.
No man, when he hath lighted a candle, putteth it in a secret place, neither under a bushel, but on a candlestick, that they which come in may see the light.
This is the main foundation for following Christ and it is at one time the easiest thing in the world at at another the hardest! It is what we strive to do and yet it often hurts so much that it is a battle daily. It is impossible without God‘s help and it is only as far away as our asking for His help. Those that hurt us the most are often those who are closest to us and yet these are the very ones that we love the most.
You may be asking where I am going with this and I will be honest and say that I am not sure. This is the message that I am getting today. We need to work on learning to love and following Christ’s will. The time is near when it is going to be our biggest challenge. Build your foundation, increase your strength, and expand your heart.
New King James Version (NKJV)
43 “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor[a] and hate your enemy.’44 But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you,[b] 45 that you may be sons of your Father in heaven; for He makes His sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust. 46 For if you love those who love you, what reward have you? Do not even the tax collectors do the same? 47 And if you greet your brethren[c] only, what do you do morethan others? Do not even the tax collectors[d] do so? 48 Therefore you shall be perfect, just as your Father in heaven is perfect.
New King James Version (NKJV)
4 And Jesus answered and said to them: “Take heed that no one deceives you. 5 For many will come in My name, saying, ‘I am the Christ,’ and will deceive many. 6 And you will hear of wars and rumors of wars. See that you are not troubled; for all[a] these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet. 7 For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. And there will be famines, pestilences,[b] and earthquakes in various places. 8 All these are the beginning of sorrows.
9 “Then they will deliver you up to tribulation and kill you, and you will be hated by all nations for My name’s sake. 10 And then many will be offended, will betray one another, and will hate one another. 11 Then many false prophets will rise up and deceive many. 12 And because lawlessness will abound, the love of many will grow cold. 13 But he who endures to the end shall be saved. 14 And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in all the world as a witness to all the nations, and then the end will come.
And Jesus answered and spoke to them again by parables and said:
“The kingdom of heaven is like a certain king who arranged a marriage for his son,
“Again, he sent out other servants, saying, ‘Tell those who are invited, “See, I have prepared my dinner; my oxen and fatted cattle are killed, and all things are ready. Come to the wedding.” ‘
“But they made light of it and went their ways, one to his own farm, another to his business.
“And the rest seized his servants, treated them spitefully, and killed them.
“But when the king heard about it, he was furious. And he sent out his armies, destroyed those murderers, and burned up their city.
“Then he said to his servants, ‘The wedding is ready, but those who were invited were not worthy.
“Therefore go into the highways, and as many as you can find, invite to the wedding.’
“So those servants went out into the highways and gathered together all whom they found, both bad and good. And the wedding hall was filled with guests.
“But when the king came in to see the guests, he saw a man there who did not have on a wedding garment.
“So he said to him, ‘Friend, how did you come in here without a wedding garment?’ And he was speechless.
“Then the king said to the servants, ‘Bind him hand and foot, take him away, and cast him into outer darkness; there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’
“For many are called, but few are chosen.”
“Therefore, whatever you want men to do to you, do also to them, for this is the Law and the Prophets. Matthew 7:12
And seeing the multitudes, He went up on a mountain, and when He was seated His disciples came to Him.
Then He opened His mouth and taught them saying:
For theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Blessed are those who mourn,
For they shall be comforted.
Blessed are the meek,
Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness,
For they shall be filled.
Blessed are the merciful,
For they shall obtain mercy.
Blessed are the pure in heart,
For they shall see God.
For they shall be called sons of God.
Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake,
For their is the kingdom of heaven.
“Blessed are you when they revile and persecute you, and say all kinds of evil against you falsely for My sake.
“Rejoice and be exceedingly glad, for great is your reward in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you.
And John tried to prevent Him, saying, “I have need to be baptized by You, and are You coming to me?
But Jesus answered and said to him, “Permit it to be so now, for thus it is fitting for us to fulfill all righteousness.” Then he allowed Him.
Then Jesus, when He had been baptized, came up immediately from the water; and behold, the heavens were opened to Him, and He saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and alighting upon Him.
And suddenly a voice came heaven, saying “This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.”
“Take heed that you do not do your charitable deeds before men, to be seen by them. Otherwise you have no reward from your Father in heaven.
“Therefore, when you do a charitable deed, do not sound a trumpet before you as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may have glory from men. Assuredly, I say to you, they have their reward.
“But when you do a charitable deed, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing,
“that your charitable deed may be in secret; and your Father who sees in secret will Himself reward you openly.