Acts 10: Differences exist between being a “God-fearer” and a “God-believer.” Cornelius falls into the first category. He fears God, and in the only way he knows, he seeks this God that he knows about but does not know personally. We meet the Cornelius’ as we wander through our day-to-day activities. If asked, they say, yes, I “believe” in a God, but they do not “know” God in a personal way. Thus, this story about Cornelius is significant for us. It means we must recognize that God has called them, for he is unwilling that any should perish. Then, we step out of our comfort zone to share our faith. Peter, like us, is being nudged by the Spirit to take this step towards a Gentile he does not know and one that he considers to be apart from God’s blessings. God’s ways are mysterious but deliberate when he learns that one is hungering, but they do not know God’s love and salvation.
It is also significant that God calls Cornelius by name, for this is our assurance that God knows us by name whether we are a “God-fearer” or a “God-believer.” God has heard the prayers of Cornelius, and He has the answer through Simon Peter. Cornelius’ hunger to know this God of the Jews is relevant, for this is our world. In addition, Peter is much like us in so many ways. We understand and believe in God but are hesitant to share our faith for many reasons. But God sees and hears the hearts of the lost and uses us to “go and tell the good news” of his love and His forgiveness.
Do you know someone who is a “God-fearer” but not a “God-believer?” Let God move you and use you!