The Uncommon Love of God
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Imagine living such a godly life that the Creator of the Universe takes special notice of you!
Job and Cornelius were two such men whose devotion got God’s attention — yet both experienced what it was like to be despised and rejected by men (Job 1-42, Acts 10-11).
Job’s rejection came after an all-manner of destruction had overtaken this once-wealthy and honored man.
Cornelius’ rejection had been lifelong because he was a Gentile.
Yet God took notice of them and even set things in motion to redeem them to a place of acceptance and honor.
Everyone envied Job. He seemed to have it all: money, family, friends – plus he loved God. Inhe is described as “blameless – a man of complete integrity. He feared God and stayed away from evil.”
Yet when calamity struck him and his household, people mocked him. Friends even said that only the wicked experienced such turmoil.
Job was grieved by such accusations, and he longed to be understood! In, he said, “Oh, that my words could be recorded...”
He did not know that those very words would be part of God’s written Word – giving hope to generations regarding how a righteous man endures trials!
In the midst of his hurt, Job had faith rise up in him as he proclaimed “my Redeemer lives...” (verse 25). Job knew that one day he would stand before a Righteous Judge – and I believe that thought gave him hope.
How amazing that he had such hope before experiencing a breakthrough! He even prayed for the friends who accused him before anything had gotten better for him!
Another man of great renown, Cornelius, lived at the time of the Apostle Peter and the early Christian church. Cornelius was a Roman army captain of the Italian Regiment. He is described as a “devout, God-fearing man, as was everyone in his household. He gave generously to the poor and prayed regularly to God” ().
Cornelius’ servants described him as one “well respected by all the Jews,” (verse 22). Yet Cornelius had become accustomed to being kept at arm’s length, never fully embraced by God’s chosen people. But God wanted to change that.
As Cornelius prayed one day, an angel appeared to him, saying
“Your prayers and gifts to the poor have been received by God as an offering!” (verse 4).
The angel instructed Cornelius to send men to Joppa and summon Peter; meanwhile, God worked on Peter’s heart.
Through a vision, God instructed Peter to “not call something unclean if God has made it clean” (verse 15).
So as Cornelius’ three men arrived at the home where Peter was staying, God furthermore instructed Peter,
“Get up, go downstairs and go with them without hesitation. Don’t worry, for I have sent them” (verse 20).
This was a big step for Peter.
Peter told them, “You know it is against our laws for a Jewish man to enter a Gentile home like this or to associate with you. But God has shown me that I should no longer think of anyone as impure or unclean” (verse 28).
And after hearing Cornelius share why he sent for him, Peter replied:
“I see very clearly that God shows no favoritism. In every nation he accepts those who fear him and do what is right” (verses 34-35).
This encounter helped open a door to greater fellowship between the entire family of God.
Dear Father, we know that Jesus, too, was despised and rejected by men. Help us to not show favoritism, but to see others as you see them. Your word tells us that the world will recognize us as Christians by our love for one another. So, thank You for helping us love in a greater way! In Jesus’ name, we pray. Amen!
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