Know: Acts 10:2 “a devout man who feared God with all his household, gave alms generously to the people, and prayed continually to God” (ESV)
Concider: We homeschooled our three “Dufflings” all the way through high school and it was an adventure that was full of surprises – incredible times of fun and of course lots of hard work, such as teaching everyone to read. I had three Dufflings with three different learning styles but the middle Duffling offered me my greatest challenge. When I explained that we read top to bottom and left to right. He immediately said, “I don’t want to do that. I want to read bottom to top and right to left.” I am not even kidding and he was only five. Instruction is intended to yield wisdom in areas that are deemed necessary. Wisdom yields the added strength of forward movement – when you know more you can do more. We see this principle at work in the Bible over and over again. Here in Acts 10:2 we see a devout man who feared the Lord and it was revealed in his daily life because he and his household were seen to be devout servants of God.
When we discover that our faith is driven by our fear of a holy God, instruction in wisdom becomes a delight and never a chore.
As military spouses or active duty females we are quite familiar with the procedures of giving, receiving and obeying orders, and so was Cornelius. As a centurion he was in command of 100 men at once. As moms we may only be in command of a few but on really rough days the short people in our lives feel like they out number us 100 to 1! And as active duty soldiers your life may depend on the orders that you may be giving, receiving or obeying. It’s a responsibility that if taken lightly can result in danger being met without the necessary tools to achieve the intended victory.
This week we will learn some valuable lessons of hearing God speak, believing what God is speaking and then acting on what God has spoken. We must follow through with each step. Pausing or turning back before the conclusion will not bring the intended end result; we must persevere. Even when it appears that it is all wrong we must trust that God is saying it is all right. “Rise Peter, slay and eat,” looked all wrong but it was what God wanted to do within the body of Jewish believers that demanded that Peter rise, slay and eat. Cornelius didn’t have time to sort out the message from God – he had enough time to obey and send his servants to fetch Peter.
It is often the case when we are quickened by God through the power of the Holy Spirit, we must respond with obedience. In the end of what seemed like nonsensical behavior we have an entire Jewish people witnessing the outpouring of the Holy Spirit on Gentiles and we have Gentiles receiving what they thought was impossible with their Jewish brothers as witnesses. And it was all accomplished according to God’s plan because Peter and Cornelius acted on what God spoke to them. Remember this:
[fusion_builder_container hundred_percent=”yes” overflow=”visible”][fusion_builder_row][fusion_builder_column type=”1_1″ background_position=”left top” background_color=”” border_size=”” border_color=”” border_style=”solid” spacing=”yes” background_image=”” background_repeat=”no-repeat” padding=”” margin_top=”0px” margin_bottom=”0px” class=”” id=”” animation_type=”” animation_speed=”0.3″ animation_direction=”left” hide_on_mobile=”no” center_content=”no” min_height=”none”][tweetthis] Fear is never a good reason to not obey.[/tweetthis]
Key Concept: [/fusion_builder_column][fusion_builder_column type=”1_1″ background_position=”left top” background_color=”” border_size=”” border_color=”” border_style=”solid” spacing=”yes” background_image=”” background_repeat=”no-repeat” padding=”” margin_top=”0px” margin_bottom=”0px” class=”” id=”” animation_type=”” animation_speed=”0.3″ animation_direction=”left” hide_on_mobile=”no” center_content=”no” min_height=”none”][tweetthis]Wisdom yields the added strength of forward movement – when you know more you can do more.[/tweetthis]
This Week’s Faith-Over-Fear Challenge: Make a list of four specific things you can do this week, like Cornelius, to 1) increase your devotion to God 2) Fear God along with your household 3) Give generously to the poor and 4) pray continually.
Questions for Discussing & Journaling:
- In our key verse we see two words – devout and fear. They are often seen as opposites but here we see them as partners. What about this truth strikes you the most?
- In our pursuit of wisdom we must be taught. In what ways are you regularly seeking instruction?
- In your seeking have you been able to identify any obstacles?
- As you read Acts 10:2 you will see a devout man with a devout household. How does this speak to you personally?
Continue: Memory Verse & Daily Homework
DAY 1 – Read the entirety of Acts 10 and write our key scripture for the week on an index card and place it in your Bible or journal. Commit to reading it every day and begin the process of memorizing it. You can also write it on your bathroom mirror with a sharpie. Don’t worry it will wipe off with a paper towel!
DAY 2 – Let’s look at this verse of Scripture, “Your prayers and gifts to the poor have come up as a memorial offering before God.” Acts 10:4 (ESV) What are some of your personal prayers, gifts and offerings have you given to God? Make a plan to offer something new to God as an offering, such as giving up an hour of screen time or reading your Bible for an extra 20 minutes.
DAY 3 – “He saw heaven opened and something like a large sheet being let down to earth by its four corners. It contained all kinds of four-footed animals, as well as reptiles of the earth and birds of the air. Then a voice told him, ‘Get up, Peter. Kill and eat.’” Acts 10:11-13 (ESV) In this verse we see that Peter, who is full of wisdom and had actually walked with Jesus, was unable to correlate his “knowledge” with what he was actually seeing and hearing from Jesus. Why do you think that was the case? What hindered him from believing? Was it his abundant knowledge of all things Jewish or his lack of faith in what Jesus was speaking to him right then?
DAY 4 – In reading Acts 10 we are able to see that Cornelius obeyed quickly, while Peter had to have more than one encounter with the Lord before he would believe and obey. “This happened three times, and immediately the sheet was taken back to heaven reading through” Acts 10:16 (ESV) What would you need to become convinced to obey quickly?
DAY 5 – My son impeded his own instruction by wanting to do it ‘his way’ just like Peter in Acts 10:14 “Surely not, Lord! Peter replied. I have never eaten anything impure or unclean.”(ESV) Peter was afraid to believe what the Lord was revealing to him because it went against what he wanted to be right, just like my son. After spending time in the Word this week what are you afraid to believe about your Lord?
Q: Living, working and worshipping in a military environment gives us a wholly different perspective of our day to day life; than we would have living, working and worshipping in a civilian environment. What lessons have you learned that you are confident you would never have gained in the civilian world?
I will go first. I will never take the singing and/or playing of the National Anthem for granted. I have stood in the movie theaters, pulled my vehicle to the side of roads and stopped all movement out of doors to stand at attention. It has made me profoundly aware of the sacrifice that military families live with every day. Therefore I hold them in the highest regard and find it a privilege to stand quietly and honor our nation.
I must confess, I am all things crafty. If you can cut it, glue it, paint it, stitch it, knit it or stamp it then I am all over it! Therefore I spend copious amounts of time on Pinterest, YouTube and Facebook looking for new ideas. And trust me there are a plenty! So, here is something from my newest endeavor, Creative Planning. It is like “Type A meets Type Z” and you get the best of both worlds. Planning out your daily routine in a scrapbook kind of way, GENIUS! Below is a tutorial on the process I use to plan out my week for Bible Study, sermon reflection and ministry opportunities.
These can be purchased at Hobby Lobby, select Michael’s and Meijer stores and from the “Me And My Big Ideas” website.
The two page layout clean before the planning takes place! A blank canvas ready for my artistic touches
The supplies I used in planning: washi, sticker, gel pens and stamps. I purchased all of these either at Hobby Lobby or Michael’s.
My planner pages all decked out in stickers, stamps, washi tape and gel pens.
My Happy Planner all filled out for the week! I am ready to rock and roll and get stuff done! The entire process from selecting my planner goodies and filling out the week takes anywhere from 20 – 60 minutes depending on my mood and spare time, lol! Happy Planning and post some pics on the website and let me know how you plan-it and get-it all done!
Submitted by Claudia Duff