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Cornelius was a Roman centurion in charge of lots of soldiers. Cornelius had a large household and took good care of all of them.
Cornelius really cared about God — not the fake gods that most other Roman soldiers talked about, but Cornelius deeply respected Yahweh, the one and only true God.
Cornelius had heard some about Yahweh, but he wanted to know more, more, more. He wasn’t sure all the ways to do that, but he decided to pay attention to whatever he knew God wanted, and do it.
Cornelius talked to God. He gave gifts and money to people who needed it. He read what the prophets said about God and about the laws God had given.
Cornelius was learning to speak God’s language. God’s language is love, kindness, sacrifice — taking care of others rather than just caring about yourself. That’s the language Cornelius wanted to speak, and that’s the language that God listens to.
Cornelius knew that doing all those things didn’t make him “good” or “right” before God. That’s not why he did them. He just knew that if he wanted to know more of God, then he needed to learn God’s language and ways.
So Cornelius chose to care about what God cared about. Even when he didn’t feel like it, even when he was wrong, even when he wasn’t sure how to do it.
And GOD NOTICED THAT. And God decided to give something from Heaven to Cornelius. (You probably know what it is, but I’m not going to tell you yet. Just listen to what happened.)
One afternoon, Cornelius was talking to God and suddenly, he saw an angel standing right there in front of him, shining brightly. The angel said, “Cornelius!”
Cornelius was surprised and a little scared. “Yes, what is it, Sir?”
“God has noticed you, Cornelius! He has heard you praying to Him, and He has seen your choices to care for others. These things are like a special gift you have sent to God. Here is what He wants you to do: send messengers to a man named Peter and ask him to come to you. He’s staying at the house of Simon the tanner, who lives in Joppa.”
Then, the angel was gone.
Cornelius called two of his servants and one of his soldiers. These men cared about God too. He told them what had happened and said, “Quick! Go to Joppa and look for Peter!”
While they were gone, Cornelius didn’t just sit around. He was so amazed and a little nervous. Peter was coming to tell him more, more, more about God! Cornelius was so excited! He just HAD to tell someone. He let his whole household know, “Peter is coming! Peter is coming.” Then he went out and found his close friends, “Peter is coming! Peter is coming.” And then his relatives… “Peter is coming! Here! Do you want to come and hear him with me?”
By obeying the laws of God and learning the language of God, Cornelius had made his heart full of rich, good, soft soil that was ready for God’s miracle seed… the miracle of New Life.
This is very important for YOU, because you can do the same thing Cornelius did.
Now understand that doing all those things to prepare your heart, won’t save you. Learning the language of God did not save Cornelius. Even seeing an angel with his own eyes, did not save him. Those things can’t create the miracle of God’s Life on the inside. But, the more we can learn of God’s language, the easier the transition is into God’s Life. The more the better. The earlier the better. The sooner the better. The more we obey His word the better — which means: obey your parents; learn how to have respect; learn how to work hard; learn how to not lie, not steal, and not take short-cuts on your work and learning.
You can learn how to cooperate with the language of God so that when it’s time to be Born a second time into God’s Expression of Himself on earth, it will be as easy of a transition as it was for Cornelius. He didn’t have to learn thousands of new things because he was already living very closely to the way God wanted him to. You can do that, too. That’s WHY we’re telling you the Story of God’s Big Plan now while you’re little. So that you can get started on learning God’s language right away. So, get to it.
(And go to the next story to hear what happens next with Cornelius.)