Ask my children who Cornelius is and they may say the cheerful prospector who helped Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer make his way to the Island of Misfit Toys! He was helpful, generous, willing to go out of his way, and in the end helped save Rudolph.
The only other Cornelius I know was a rather obscure fellow mentioned in the 10th chapter of Acts. Obscure perhaps, but not insignificant. All we know about the man we learn in a couple of sentences. He was a soldier, specifically, a centurion in an Italian battalion; therefore, he was also a Gentile. But more importantly, we read that Cornelius was devout, generous, God-fearing, righteous, highly-respected, and a man of prayer (vv 2, 22).
Sounds like the kind of person God could use mightily – and He did! You see, while God was giving visions to Peter that it was ok for the gospel to be shared with the Gentiles, God was telling Cornelius to send for a man he never knew (Peter) to come. As a result of Cornelius’ devout, righteous, prayerful faith, the gospel was first spoken through Peter to the gentiles. Not only did Peter share the message of Christ with the Gentiles, Scripture records this amazing outcome…
“While Peter was still saying these things, the Holy Spirit fell on ALL who heard the word. And the believers from among the circumcised who had come with Peter were amazed, because the gift of the Holy Spirit was poured out even on the Gentiles.” (vv. 44-45)
We’re not told how many heard that day, but we’re told that ALL who heard received the Holy Spirit. And they heard because one devout, prayerful man listened to God’s voice and obeyed His instructions. Oh, to have the same things be said of us! –Dave
(To receive these free daily devotions via email, subscribe at: http://www.theteachableheart.com/blogs—daily-devotions.html)