God used three messengers, visions, and messages in his plan of leading Cornelius to conversion. (See yesterday's devotional
.) In addition to sending Peter the same vision three times (Acts 10:9-16), God also directed Cornelius to send messengers to convey his desire to learn God's truth, and Cornelius sent three men (Acts 10:7-8). This combination of visions, human messengers, angelic messengers, and the leading of the Holy Spirit made clear to Peter that God was at work in what was happening with Cornelius. The sequencing and timing of these events showed the Lord's hand in orchestrating them. God's guidance and timing convinced Peter. The combination of all the factors also proved to be essential in overcoming the skepticism of critics and questioners in Jerusalem. Jesus had promised his message would be unstoppable because the Holy Spirit would empower his disciples to be his witnesses. Peter stepped into the center of the Spirit's fulfillment of Jesus' promise in the life of Cornelius.
Almighty God, my loving Father, thank you for Luke's story of the early church in Acts. Thank you, Holy Spirit, for opening the way for Gentiles to come into God's family and for God to graft them into his chosen people. Please use whatever means are necessary to awaken us from our lack of vision, passion, and commitment to reach the lost world with the message of Jesus. We invite you to work through us to bring your promises to fulfillment in our day. In Jesus' name, I pray. Amen.