A HIGHER LOVE
I praise You, God, for all the ways in which You have shown Your love to me recently.
Read Acts 10:1–8
Cornelius Calls for Peter
10 At Caesarea there was a man named Cornelius, a centurion in what was known as the Italian Regiment. 2 He and all his family were devout and God-fearing; he gave generously to those in need and prayed to God regularly. 3 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!”
4 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. 5 Now send men to Joppa to bring back a man named Simon who is called Peter. 6 He is staying with Simon the tanner, whose house is by the sea.”
7 When the angel who spoke to him had gone, Cornelius called two of his servants and a devout soldier who was one of his attendants. 8 He told them everything that had happened and sent them to Joppa.
New International Version (NIV)Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
ReflectHow would you rate yourself on a scale of 1-10? How would God rate you?
Cornelius was a Roman centurion who followed the practices of the Jewish faith such as praying and giving (10:2). However, most commentators believe he would not have been a full convert to Judaism, something which required circumcision. Therefore, many Jews would not have really seen him as one of them, even though tomorrow’s reading makes it clear they respected him for his pious life. Cornelius must have been used to being viewed as something of a second-rate believer. Imagine, then, his amazement when God spoke to him through an angel and revealed that He had been listening to all his prayers (3, 4).
I had a friend who felt that she was a second-rate Christian. She struggled to believe that God listened to her prayers, believing they just bounced off the ceiling. Sometimes our experiences in life and the way we have been treated by others can have a negative impact on our view of God. We can struggle to believe we are valued by the Lord because others have failed to value us. Some may not have believed Cornelius’ faith was equal to their own, but God disagreed. And this is not surprising, for His love, unlike ours, is perfect.
Bring to God any experiences in life that you think have made it harder for you to believe and accept the depth of love God has for you. Meditate on Ephesians 3:16-19.
Father God, I need Your healing. Help me to be able to accept Your great love for me even when I cannot accept myself.
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