Thursday, June 1, 2023
The next day as Cornelius's messengers were nearing [Joppa], Peter went up on the flat roof to pray. It was about noon, and he was hungry. But while a meal was being prepared, he fell into a trance. He saw the sky open, and something like a large sheet was let down by its four corners. In the sheet were all sorts of animals, reptiles, and birds. Then a voice said to him, "Get up, Peter; kill and eat them."
Throughout his story of Jesus in his gospel and his story of the early church in the book of Acts, Luke showed that God signaled vital moments in salvation history through demonstrations of heavenly power and revelation. Visions and dreams, along with the direct intervention of angels and the Holy Spirit, signaled that God had chosen Cornelius' conversion as an epic turning point. God wanted — and still wants — all people to be part of his family of grace through faith in Jesus Christ, repentance, baptism, and the gift of the Holy Spirit. In case we miss this emphasis, Luke included the conversion of Cornelius at the major transition points of Acts, twice at the first transition and once at the second one. God wants us to take the message of Jesus to all people!
Based on Acts 1:8, Luke divided Acts into three sections recounting the disciples' going as Jesus' Witnesses to World.
Section One: Growing into Jesus' Mission
Chaps. 1-9 — Focus City: Jerusalem; Focus Character: Peter.
Section Two: Transitioning to Jesus' Gentile Mission
Chaps 10-15 — Focus Cities: Jerusalem & Antioch; Focus Characters: Peter, James, Barnabas, & Saul/Paul.
— Cornelius' Conversion Story (Acts 10:1-48)
— Cornelius' Story Told in Jerusalem (Acts 11:1-18)
— Cornelius' Story Told at Jerusalem Conference (Acts 15:1-12)
Section Three: Carrying Out Jesus' World Mission
Chaps. 16-28 — Focus Cities: Ephesus & Rome; Focus Character: Paul.
O Father, my heart cries out to you with my yearnings. My soul yearns for you to do in our day what you did in those early days recorded in the book of Acts. My heart also rejoices in the way you clearly and decisively moved to include Gentiles into your family of faith. Yes, I know that was your purpose in calling Abraham. I remember that you reminded your people of this purpose for them in the lives of Ruth and Jonah. I rejoice that you made it clear with Cornelius. Inspire us and awaken us to your desire to save all people in our day. I ask this in the name of Jesus, Lord of all. Amen.
Unstoppable! is a one-year devotional guide through the book of Acts. Each devotional consists of a scripture passage, a reflection and a prayer. The reflection opens up the day's scripture and shows how it challenges one to live for Jesus.
Unstoppable! is written by Phil Ware.
Scripture quotations are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright ©1996, 2004, 2007, 2013, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.
Archived Facebook Comments