Jesus, prepare my heart to hear from You today.
Read Acts 10:23b–33
23 Then Peter invited the men into the house to be his guests.
Peter at Cornelius’s House
The next day Peter started out with them, and some of the believers from Joppa went along. 24 The following day he arrived in Caesarea. Cornelius was expecting them and had called together his relatives and close friends. 25 As Peter entered the house, Cornelius met him and fell at his feet in reverence. 26 But Peter made him get up. “Stand up,” he said, “I am only a man myself.”
27 While talking with him, Peter went inside and found a large gathering of people. 28 He said to them: “You are well aware that it is against our law for a Jew to associate with or visit a Gentile. But God has shown me that I should not call anyone impure or unclean. 29 So when I was sent for, I came without raising any objection. May I ask why you sent for me?”
30 Cornelius answered: “Three days ago I was in my house praying at this hour, at three in the afternoon. Suddenly a man in shining clothes stood before me 31 and said, ‘Cornelius, God has heard your prayer and remembered your gifts to the poor. 32 Send to Joppa for Simon who is called Peter. He is a guest in the home of Simon the tanner, who lives by the sea.’ 33 So I sent for you immediately, and it was good of you to come. Now we are all here in the presence of God to listen to everything the Lord has commanded you to tell us.”
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.
Reflect‘…faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see’ (Hebrews 11:1). What does this mean to you?
In today’s reading, Peter takes a huge step of faith, traveling with some strangers to see a Roman centurion without really understanding why! This went against Peter’s background, too, because Jews believed social contact with Gentiles (non-Jews) made them ritually unclean (28).
What does this teach about stepping out in faith? Certainly, Peter only did so on God’s prompting (28, 29). Acting in faith is not about rushing blindly into the unknown without praying through our ideas first to test whether God is behind them. However, neither did Peter wait until he had all the answers; he left not yet knowing the purpose of his journey (29b). God, though, had already been preparing Peter (and Cornelius, 30–33): Peter’s vision of clean and unclean animals (10:10–13) helped him to realize it was okay to mix with these Gentiles.
We may feel unprepared as we step out in faith, but God has often been quietly equipping us for the tasks ahead through the experiences we’ve already had. Today’s story encourages us, too – while we won’t know everything before we start on our journey, God will show us what we need to know when we need to know it.
When have you stepped out in faith? Are there things that prevent you from doing so? Why don’t you talk those barriers through with God today and see how He wants you to step forward.
God, I want to bring honor to Your name. Show me how to walk in faith and confidence in who You are.
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