Lessons From Peter and Cornelius, Part One
- Tuesday, October 14, 2003
When Peter arrived in Caesarea, Cornelius and all of his relatives and close friends met him. Imagine what this could have done to our former fisherman.
I remember the first time I was recognized by name. My husband and I had stepped into a jewelry store to have a charm added to my bracelet. I handed everything to the young woman on the other side of the counter as she said, "Let me just get your name and phone number."
"Eva Marie Everson," I answered.
The woman's head jerked up and she gasped. Literally gasped! "Not the writer?"
It was a moment I had not begun to prepare for. "Yes," I said...and I'll tell you I was pretty much the brightest thing in the store at that moment. No diamond in any of the cases could have possibly outshone me! Instantly the Holy Spirit said, "Eva Marie, get over yourself."
I did. I reminded myself God had given me the gift of writing not so people could get all excited about who I am, but that they could get all excited about who He is! Like the jeweler, the people got overly excited upon his arrival.
As Peter entered the house, Cornelius met him and fell at his feet in reverence. But Peter made him get up. "Stand up," he said, "I am only a man myself." (Acts 10:25,26)
Prayer Plows the Field and Opens the Road
An old and dear friend said something to me that I'll never forget. Concerning prayer, she said: "Do you not realize that the very moment you begin to pray, the Father puts your requests into action? There are angels standing around the Throne right now, waiting for His orders. Whatever you ask, if it be within His will, He is ready, willing, and able to do for you."
Prayer plows the field of a heart, people. Peter was not one to associate with Gentiles, nor was he prepared to extend his new faith to them. However, when Cornelius was in prayer, God was moving to change Peter's heart. The angel of God said, "Your prayers and gifts to the poor have come up as a memorial offering before God."
Think about this for a moment. The word "memorial" is "Mnemosunon," and means: a memorial (that by which the memory of any person or thing is preserved). Are your prayers so memorable they have etched themselves into the heart and mind of God? Cornelius's were. The Scriptures also tell us of his prayers: [he] prayed to God regularly. Prayer was a way of life for this man of the Italian Regiment.
In Joppa, Peter was so intent on his time alone with the Almighty, he was willing to go up to the roof at noon in order to do so. Perhaps you have skimmed right over that passage before. Here's the point: at the heat of the day, Peter went UP to the roof. Could it have been the house was so full of people that Peter couldn't find a quiet corner? We don't know. Where there's a will, there's a way...and Peter found it. The Scriptures also tell us that Peter became hungry while he was praying. (Verse 10) Still, this did not deter him.
While Peter is praying-and receiving a vision-three men are coming into town. The road has been plowed for their arrival. Otherwise, Peter may not have even taken the time to speak with them much less leave Simon's house with them.
To be continued next week ....
Award-winning national speaker, Eva Marie Everson is the author of Shadow of Dreams, Summon the Shadows and the recently released and highly anticipated Shadows of Light (Barbour Publishing). She can be contacted for comments or for speaking engagement bookings at www.EvaMarieEverson.com.
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