February 3 - Acts 10
WHAT WERE YOU DOING WHEN IT HAPPENED? - Yesterday we saw that Jesus encountered Saul when he was in the middle of a trip. Today in chapter 10, we see a link between Peter & Cornelius' experience with Jesus: they were both at prayer when they had their visions. Just to be clear, God no longer needs to communicate through visions now that we have all of His written words, but the point is that, in general, you will be much more receptive to the Holy Spirit speaking to you through His Word when you make time to separate yourself from the busyness for awhile and spend some time reading the Bible and praying.
BETTER THAN BACON: Certainly were grateful Jesus came to Peter in a vision and lifted the Mosaic dietary requirements (especially when so many of us are involved in pork production around here!), but as you can see by the events following the vision, God is opening the door to much more than an expanded menu. In sending the gospel out to the gentiles (Greek = 'ethnos'), a massive portion of the Old Testament is being fulfilled. Psalm 98 is just one example of this.
MEMORIZE: v34-35 - God does not show favoritism but accepts from every nation the one who fears him and does what is right.
REVIEW: verses you've memorized so far.
HE KNEW: Cornelius knew about Jesus before Peter told him about it. He knew that God sent Israel a message of peace through Jesus (v36), about Jesus' ministry and good works (v37-38), about his death (v39) and he likely even knew of Jesus' resurrection and the forgiveness that's possible because of it (v40-43). Even in our day and age, a vast majority of people know these things, but just knowing these things does not make one a Christian! One becomes a Christian when he, through the power of the Holy Spirit, begins to not just know these things, but trusts in them for his own salvation. You can know that you fall into this category by your desire to cling to and know Christ more.
ACKNOWLEDGE WHO GOD IS: God of grace who saves the ethnos (nations).
ALIGN YOUR LIFE WITH GOD'S WILL: Pray that God will make His will clear to you even as you pray to Him (v9, 30).
ASK GOD FOR WHAT YOU NEED. Pray that your relationship with Christ would be more than mere knowledge, but would be one in which you fully trust Him and show your love for Him by wanting to know Him more and more.
Worthington CRC members are preparing to celebrate communion this coming Sunday.
MONDAY: Examine your faith. Are you fully trusting in Christ for your salvation? By this faith we take to ourselves Christ and all his benefits, so that for us to live is Christ.
TUESDAY: Examine your hope. God's children rely wholly upon the merits of Christ, find in him their strength and victory, and confidently expect his return in glory.
WEDNESDAY: Examine your love, both for God and your neighbors. Consciously determine to live a life of loving service to him, through Christ our Lord.
THURSDAY: If these marks of spiritual life are not evident in us, we may not presume to approach his table. Yet we should not be deterred by any sin lingering within against our will. As we find faith, hope, and love within us, we ought gladly to obey our Lord's command and come with full expectation to God's open house of mercy.
FRIDAY: Pray - Gracious God, we love and adore you in Christ our Lord. We thank you for reconciling us to yourself in him. We rejoice in being received as your children.Prepare us by your Holy Spirit for the sacrament. Help us to come in the assurance that by it we shall be spiritually revived, and strengthened in faith, hope, and love, through Christ our Lord. Amen.