I’m excited because we are not only studying the book of Acts together but we are experiencing the book of Acts with the lame walking, the blind seeing, the deaf hearing, tumors disappearing and so many other supernatural miracles. You cannot study the book of Acts and your faith not be increased. God is a supernatural God who loves to show out for those who pray, obey and love His Presence. Once again we must be careful to guard His Presence and to stay focused on His Presence! It’s about who He is not what He does!
This week for our family devotion we pick up in Acts 10:1 In Caesarea there lived a Roman army officer named Cornelius, who was a captain of the Italian Regiment. 2 He was a devout man who feared the God of Israel, as did his entire household. He gave generously to charity and was a man who regularly prayed to God.
Cornelius was a man of power, influence and probably wealth but he remembered there was still a God to be served and reverenced. I’m thankful for all those connected to us, connected to the church that God is raising up with power, wealth and influence but yet they remain humble and hungry for more of God’s Presence. Too many, when elevated, lose sight of the eternal because of the temporal blessing.
We read in more than one Bible translation of verse 2 that Cornelius was devout which simply means, he lived a Godly life which caused him to be well respected in his community. It’s important to maintain a good reputation among those who know us best and to the community. We should be men and women of integrity. Our word should be our bond, our finances and families reflecting God’s nature. The Bible says this: Prov 22:1 Choose a good reputation over great riches, for being held in high esteem is better than having silver or gold. 2 The rich and the poor have this in common: The LORD made them both. NLT
This word of wisdom is saying, if you have to steal, cut throats, cheat, do others wrong to be rich, choose a good reputation. Try to live by this saying, Treat others the way you would want to be treated or maybe you have heard it this way, do unto others as you would want them to do unto you. But for us who are saved we must do unto others as unto the Lord.
No doubt Cornelius, even though he was not a Jew, loved God enough not to let his power and position go to his head. Life is so short so live it with integrity and honor as if everyday would be your last. Live judgment day ready by pleasing God in thoughts, words and actions.
Not only was Cornelius a devout man but a man who lived a lifestyle of giving and prayer. Later we read he was a man who fasted. This is the vision of the church: everyone living a threefold cord lifestyle:
1. Prayer 2. Fasting 3. Giving. I’m telling you when you make these your lifestyle the heavens open up over you and your family. In the case of Cornelius, the heavens opened for all Gentiles, allowing the gospel to be sent throughout the Gentile nations even though we were not Jewish.
Notice verse 3 confirms what I just said: 3 One afternoon about three o'clock (time of prayer), he had a vision in which he saw an angel of God coming toward him. "Cornelius!" the angel said.
Because of his lifestyle of praying, fasting and giving Cornelius saw into the heavens and saw an angel coming toward him who called him by name. Imagine you praying at your regular prayer time and all of a sudden the heavens open up like a theatre and you see an angel flying toward you calling your name. God still allows and still sends angels on assignment in our day and time. God has not changed! Expect it! The heavens opened over Jesus also, and the Holy Spirit in the form of dove rested upon Jesus! I believe the heavens have opened over us as we see God’s power demonstrated in such a powerful way.
As we come upon the first day of the month, we ask you to join with us in living the threefold cord lifestyle in prayer, fasting and giving. We dedicate the first day of the month as a first-fruits offering to the Lord as we fast and pray for a greater manifestation of Father God’s Presence. Never have we needed His Presence greater than right now. Tuesday is the first day of October, join us in prayer and fasting!
Prayer Points: Father help me to be a person of integrity, devout, one that fears you, prays to you, gives to your Kingdom and fasts. I need your Presence every second I live!