When I read about Cornelius I am amazed how God intervened in his life. I feel he is quite an exceptional character, considering he did not know the true and living God which makes him a non believer.
He was a man of devotion and feared God greatly. Being a centurion must not have been a cushy job. He had to manage 100 soldiers after all. As a man of war his experiences would have taught him a great deal about life and death. I’m sure he greatly valued peace having seen the results of war.
Cornelius knew who he was
What’s the biggest failure in man? His failure to acknowledge his identity. His identity in the light of the word of God. For the non believer, his MERE SELF in a big universe.
Cornelius, a gentile, knew his identity. He knew that without God he was nothing. His testimony among men or how people identified him reveals his true character.
“And they said, Cornelius the centurion, a just man, and one that feareth God, and of good report among all the nation of the Jews, was warned from God by an holy angel to send for thee into his house, and to hear words of thee.” (Acts 10:22)
Cornelius recognised the uniqueness in people
A man who knows his place on earth is a unique person. His acknowledgement of God in his life was evident in his devotion to Him. When Cornelius had to send a soldier along with two servants to Peter’s house, he sent a soldier who was devout to him. He recognised uniqueness and knew one soldier from another. I’m sure he loved all those who worked for him.
“And when the angel which spake unto Cornelius was departed, he called two of his household servants, and a devout soldier of them that waited on him continually; (Acts 10:7)
Cornelius expected from God alone
Clearly, he was a man of prayer. We know his prayers weren’t vain or repetitive. It was one with great adoration and love for God. He fasted and prayed because he believed that God would answer, not only that, he believed God alone can fulfil his needs. Fasting reveals that he believed God would respond to his call. Faith with works.
“And Cornelius said, Four days ago I was fasting until this hour; and at the ninth hour I prayed in my house, and, behold, a man stood before me in bright clothing,” Acts 10:30
Cornelius valued his time greatly
A centurions role would have been a busy one. One of great responsibility and accountability. No matter what, Cornelius prayed to God always. Most young Christians these days find themselves too busy or too worried to pray. How easily people confess that they miss out on prayer and meditating on the Word of God.
“A devout man, and one that feared God with all his house, which gave much alms to the people, and prayed to God alway.” (Acts 10:2)
Cornelius loved all without bias
There is no doubt that Cornelius loved his fellow humans. The Word of God reveals he gave much alms to people. Not only was he a devout man, but a generous man too. Also, when Peter dropped in, Cornelius acknowledged everyone’s presence and eagerness to hear the Word of God. A fine trait in a leader who loves all those he leads.
“Immediately therefore I sent to thee; and thou hast well done that thou art come. Now therefore are we all here present before God, to hear all things that are commanded thee of God.” (Acts 10:33)
Cornelius knew the state of the world
In a time of advancement and great Roman exploits, Cornelius lived a life separated from the world. He spent his time away from worldliness and kept himself unfeigned from the impurities of the world. The fear of God in him revealed how much he loved God and desired Him to spend much time in prayer always.
Cornelius knew the difference between physical and spiritual warfare
Cornelius was a leader, loved by his soldiers and servants. He was a champion of physical warfare. He knew his place when it came to spiritual warfare. His prayer-life is a testament to a life of submission and surrender to God when it came to overcoming an enemy he could not fight.
Note: This is the first of a series based on the 7 point framework I shared earlier. The attempt is to apply the seven points on Biblical characters and learn from their lives.