Bible Reading Day 183
Day 183: July 2 (Acts 10:1-23)
Yesterday we saw so many changes – for the church as a whole and for several of the key players in the cast of the New Testament. Today we will see that God has positioned Peter perfectly for the next big breakthrough. Do you remember that he stayed a long while in Joppa because so many people became believers after Tabitha (Dorcas) was raised from the dead? Well not far away in Caesarea, the Holy Spirit starts doing some direct evangelism; sending an angel to a Roman Centurion and telling him to send for Peter from Joppa!
Now this is another example where God is doing something bigger than we might realize. This is not just an example of a soldier asking the pastor to come and visit. To a man raised in the Jewish tradition, the idea of speaking to a Gentile was unthinkable, let alone visiting a Gentile’s home. Additionally the Romans were an occupying force in Israel, and were reviled by most Jews. So this is a cross-cultural challenge as big as they come!
Now to be sure that Peter responds rightly to Cornelius’ invitation, the Holy Spirit also gives Peter a vision – of all kinds of unclean animals, which he is commanded to kill and eat! Just in case Peter is tempted to dismiss this as his own imagination, he gets the same instruction three times, signifying that this is of the utmost importance. Naturally Peter is puzzled by this, so he gets a little behind God’s timetable. While he is still puzzling on the roof, the men sent from Cornelius arrive, so the Holy Spirit has to tell him to get up and go with them! Since it is late in the day, they invite the men to stay overnight. Peter and some of the believers from Joppa go with them the next day, about to be part of one of the biggest changes yet, for a young church that has already seen dramatic and life-defining change!
How about you – what is God asking you to do? Maybe it is something you would never do? God is in the change business – and you are part of His plan!
Have a great day!