|Acts 10:28 NIV|
|2017-11-25||Written by Bob and Debby Gass|
From the Jews' point of view, Cornelius wasn't really the type of person they wanted to be hanging round with. Although the Jews respected him, he was a Gentile. He was one of Caesar's centurions, he didn't eat kosher food and he didn't descend from Abraham. Everything about him made him someone they'd usually avoid. But from God's point of view, things looked very different, because Cornelius 'gave generously to those in need and prayed to God regularly' (Acts 10:2 NIV). God was about to show the world that the gospel message wasn't just for Jews, but for everyone. And to do it, He used Peter, one of the most religiously biased people you could find. He showed Peter a vision of a sheet being lowered from heaven, containing all kinds of animals that the Jews were forbidden to eat, then commanded him to eat. Peter protested, saying 'I have never eaten anything impure or unclean' (v. 14 NIV). God replied 'Do not call anything impure that God has made clean' (V. 15 NIV). Soon after this, Peter was invited to Cornelius' house to preach. When he arrived, he said to Cornelius, 'You are well aware that it 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' (v. 28 NIV). So what can we learn from this today? 1) God's message of hope and salvation is for everyone, no matter who they are. 2) To spread the gospel message, we might have to work with people who are different from us, maybe those we'd rather avoid. But instead of focusing on our differences, we need to remember what makes us similar - our shared love for God and His Word.
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