This is Not a Closed Group!

One of the great benefits of reading the Word of God is that every now and then you run across something that not only edifies you, but it speaks directly to something personal to you. I must confess that there have been times when I have gone about my daily, weekly, even yearly activities trying to do good, that I wondered if God was taking notice. While I wasn’t doing it for "brownie points" necessarily, but in my heart I really wanted God to see that I was really trying to do right. In the following passage of scripture this spoke to me:

God has heard your prayers, and He has seen your kindness to the poor. God has taken notice of you. Acts 10:4 (The Voice)

This simple passage of scripture reassured my heart that God really does pay attention to all that we do, not just the things we do wrong. This story about Cornelius, a Roman centurion breaks down every argument an unbeliever could have as to whether God is concerned about the whole world. 

Cornelius was not just any Joe on the street, he was in charge of Roman soldiers, who because of their occupation of much of the known world at that time were given a great deal of respect. Yet, somewhere along his life’s journey, Cornelius encountered the God of the Jewish people, for in this text he is praying at one of their appointed times of prayer. While in prayer, Cornelius sees a vision and hears a voice telling him that "God has taken notice of you". Imagine that, you are going through a time of prayer, trying to petition God for something or thanking Him for something, and you get this kind of response! And the voice does not stop there, for Cornelius is given specific instructions to send for Simon Peter, who was the recognized head of the NewTestament church! Wow!

The story gets better, because Cornelius does not question this heavenly vision, instead he:

7 After the messenger departed, Cornelius immediately called two of his slaves and a soldier under his command—an especially devout soldier. 8 He told them the whole story and sent them to Joppa. Acts 10:708 (The Voice)

Immediately – he follows the instructions!

Is it any wonder when we get towards the end of the chapter, that Peter says this:

It is clear to me now that God plays no favorites, 35 that God accepts every person whatever his or her culture or ethnic background, that God welcomes all who revere Him and do right.  Acts 10:34-35 (The Voice)

Less anyone think this is closed group, take note, it’s the ‘whosoever will come‘ that God accepts.