Fear God

In Acts 10, the Bible introduces us to Cornelius, who is eventually converted to Christ. Before his conversion, the Holy Spirit describes him as “devout,” generous, prayerful, and “one who feared God with all his household” (Acts 10:2). But what does it look like to fear God?

Cornelius took God seriously. As the chapter unfolds, we read that Cornelius has a vision in which an angel instructs him to send for Peter, and he does that immediately. Once Peter arrives, Cornelius is anxious to hear a message from the Lord. He is ready to obey.

Cornelius cared about others. Even before meeting Peter, he “gave many alms to the Jewish people and prayed to God continually” (Acts 1:1). He is sincere about his respect for God but also cares for the people around him. When Peter arrives at his home, we read that “many people [are] assembled” (Acts 10:27). Cornelius cared enough about others to invite them to hear a message from God.

Cornelius was willing to change. Eventually, Peter instructs this man and those in attendance to be baptized. They made no excuses and offered no delays. Cornelius is a high-ranking Roman soldier who fears God enough to put Him first.

How do we compare to Cornelius? How seriously do we take God’s commands, how much concern do we have for others, and how willing are we to change?

Matt Langfield