Part 1 Meet Cornelius
Caesarea was a thriving harbor city and the capital of the Roman province of Judea. About 30 miles north of Joppa, it was the headquarters of the Roman legions. This is where Cornelius the centurion is stationed.
Though a Gentile, Cornelius is a devout and generous man who apparently believed in one specific God…apparently the God of the Jews. He was serious in the practice of his faith – praying continually.
One day about 3 in the afternoon, God sends an angel to him in a vision. He was a little terrified (ya, think?) but he responded as a man under authority “What is it, Lord?”
Now Cornelius must have been impressed that the voice knew more than just his name. In fact the angel told him “Your prayers and your alms have ascended as a memorial before God.” (I don’t believe Cornelius is a believer – he doesn’t yet know about Jesus – but God is intimately involved with him.)
The angel tells him to send for “one Simon who is called Peter” who is down in Joppa. (Wonder if Cornelius knew anything about Peter – that he was a Jew? a Jesus follower? or just the guy God told him to find? Guess he just took God at His word.)
Like many who have been directly visited by an angel, Cornelius does not waste any time in doing exactly what the he’s told. He calls in some of his closest people – 2 of his servants and a devout soldier and tells them everything and sends them off to Joppa. (Can you imagine what these guys are thinking? The boss has lost it? Can this be for real?)
* Cornelius was a man doing his best to worship and honor the God he had come to believe in.
* He expected God would hear his prayers and he recognized His “voice”.
* Though startled and afraid, he quickly obeyed.
* He trusted God had something important to tell him and he was eager to know what it was.
If my tombstone were to say “She lived a Cornelius life” I will feel blessed.
God is ready to reach out to anyone who wants to meet Him.
What is it, Lord?
About the World?
You are being watched.