Read Acts 10:1-48.
In the days of the early church, Jews did not associate with non-Jews. In fact, they had nothing to do with them. Peter, though he was an apostle of Jesus Christ, was a good, rule-keeping Jew. It wouldn't have even crossed his mind to associate with a Roman centurion, nor would he have ever considered sharing the Gospel with such a man. But God chose Peter for this very assignment.
God is at work on all fronts, all at the same time, for His glory and your good.
The Lord was gracious to prepare Peter's heart for such a task. God granted him a vision of unclean animals coming down from heaven on a sheet. These were the sorts of creatures that Peter never would have eaten; they were forbidden by the kosher food laws in the Old Testament. And yet, God spoke to Peter and said, "Get up, Peter. Kill and eat" (Acts 10:13).
Peter got the message: Things that were unclean before were no longer so—including fellowship with Gentiles. Moments later, messengers from Cornelius arrived and entreated Peter to accompany them back to their master's home. Had these men arrived a few hours earlier, Peter never would have gone with them. Had they come the next day, Peter might have rationalized his vision as some kind of nightmare and refused their invitation. But the timing was God's, and it was just right.
What Peter didn't know was that God had also been preparing Cornelius' heart to receive the Gospel. For years, Cornelius had been a God-fearing man, but he knew nothing of Jesus or the way of salvation. So, God sent him an angel to direct him to Peter. This meeting was orchestrated according to God's perfect and precise plan. You see, God is at work on all fronts, all at the same time, for His glory and your good.
God is looking for willing conduits of His grace. He shows no partiality on the basis of anything except obedience. This doesn't mean He loves the obedient more; it means He delights to bless them more. He has a soft spot for generous people because He can use them as channels for His Kingdom purposes. He has promised to honor those who honor Him.
Are you ready to be a conduit of God's blessings? Even Peter had prejudices standing in the way of God's plan for his life. But God prepared his heart, and He will prepare yours, too. So, get ready to be made ready!
Prayer: Jesus, prepare my heart to share the Good News with those who might make me feel uncomfortable. May I see those around me as image bearers of the Most High God and work to show them Your love for them. I pray in the name of Jesus. Amen.
"Then Peter began to speak: 'I now realize how true it is that God does not show favoritism but accepts from every nation the one who fears him and does what is right'" (Acts 10:34-35).
Learn more in Dr. Michael Youssef's sermon Look Who Moved Out, Part 5: LISTEN NOW