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May 20 | Acts 10:34-48


 

DAILY READING

 

REFLECTION


Don't Stand in the Way of the Holy Spirit!

by Pr. Dave Mann


Acts 10 is a chapter that tells of the amazing work of the Holy Spirit. Before this event, no one could be baptized without first being a member of the Jewish community. To break through this sociological barrier, the Holy Spirit gave two key people their own supernatural visions.  The vision given to Cornelius, a Roman centurion, instructed him to invite Simon Peter to his home to share with him a special message. Peter received his own vision involving various kinds of ceremonially unclean animals. He was told to slaughter these animals and to eat them.  Peter protested because, as a Jew, he had never eaten anything prescribed as unclean. The Lord declared to Peter, “What God has called clean, do not call common.” The Holy Spirit gave him this same vision three times. This repetition indicated to Peter that the vision’s message was clearly from God. 

 

A short time later, the Roman emissaries sent by Cornelius arrived at Peter’s gate. When Peter saw these Romans, people whom he would normally shun, asking on behalf of Cornelius to hear the gospel, Peter’s heart was changed. He understood the purpose of his vision. He welcomed the Romans into the house and then went with them to Cornelius. Acts 10:34-48 is a summary of Peter’s gospel preaching.

 

During the announcement of the good news in Jesus, the Holy Spirit fell upon Cornelius and his entire entourage. Peter recognized that the Holy Spirit was at work because he heard these Romans, new believers in Jesus, speaking in tongues. Biblically, speaking in tongues is one of different indications of the presence of the Holy Spirit. Other gifts of the Spirit are listed in various writings in the New Testament (1 Corinthians 12:14-11; Romans 12:6-8; Ephesians 4:11-12), as well as the fruit of the Spirit (Eph 5:25-26). 

 

When Peter saw that the Holy Spirit had descended upon the Roman soldiers, he was convinced that if God had accepted them as true believers, even though they were not Jewish to begin with, he could not stand in the way of the Holy Spirit (10:47-48). Peter ordered that the whole group should be baptized. This event, along with the ministry of the Apostle Paul, planting churches for new believers from different ethnic groups, paved the way for the gospel to be spread to the ends of the earth (Acts 1:9 & Matthew 28:16-20).

 

Aren’t you glad that Cornelius and Peter were obedient to the visions the Holy Spirit gave them?

 

PRAYER

Thank you, Holy Spirit, for convincing Cornelius and Peter to come together. Thank you for sharing your power and your gospel with all ethnic groups. Please show me the kinds of people I have considered “out of bounds” to the reach of the Gospel. I desire that you would use me to share the gospel with groups of people that my culture--yes, even the church--might consider out of reach. Surely, your Word desires that ALL people be given the opportunity to respond to the gospel, in Jesus’ name, Amen.






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