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Daily Reading: Acts 10

Scripture Focus: A devout man who feared God with all his household, gave alms generously to the people, and prayed continually to God. (Acts 10.2)

Devotional Thought: Yesterday we read about Saul's conversion - a man who was hateful and violent toward the Church and Christ. Today, however, we read of a different kind of conversion - that of a generous and kind man: Cornelius, the Roman soldier.

Cornelius is described as devout. He was a moral man, a decent man. He feared God and led his family to do the same. He gave money to people who needed help. He prayed regularly. Cornelius even knew about Jesus (v. 37).

But, something was missing. Cornelius didn't know Jesus. He hadn't met Jesus. He didn't believe in Jesus as the Messiah of God and the Savoir of men. So, God sent Peter to this wonderful man to tell him and his family "that everyone who believes in him receives forgiveness of sins through his name" (v. 43). When Cornelius - this moral man, this upright citizen - heard that, he believed and received forgiveness of sins! Then, he was filled with the Holy Spirit!

This story reminds me of what Jesus said, "No one comes to the Father except through me" (John 14.6). No amount of goodness or generosity can save us. It is only by the blood and in the name of Jesus that we can be saved.

When we think of those who need Jesus, we tend to think of the "down-and-outers" - immoral, uneducated, socially rejected. But, the "up-and-outers" need Jesus, too! They might not have "as far to go," but their journey may be more intense - just as Cornelius had to be very intentional about responding to the vision God gave him.

So, when you pray for the lost, don't forget those who are "not far from the kingdom of God."

Prayer: Father, I pray that you would speak to the hearts of people who are morally good. Help them to see that they cannot count on their own goodness to get them into heaven. Show them that Jesus is the only true Way. Amen.

Psalm of the Day: 29 But I am afflicted and in pain; let your salvation, O God, set me on high! 30 I will praise the name of God with a song; I will magnify him with thanksgiving. 31 This will please the LORD more than an ox or a bull with horns and hoofs. 32 When the humble see it they will be glad; you who seek God, let your hearts revive. 33 For the LORD hears the needy and does not despise his own people who are prisoners. 34 Let heaven and earth praise him, the seas and everything that moves in them. 35 For God will save Zion and build up the cities of Judah, and people shall dwell there and possess it; 36 the offspring of his servants shall inherit it, and those who love his name shall dwell in it. (Psalms 69:29-36)

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