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Realizing the presence, promise, and power of the Kingdom of God.
The Scriptorium

Next Steps

The Kingdom advances one step at a time. Acts 10.17-23

The Gospel to the Gentiles: Acts 10 (3)

Pray Psalm 113.1-3.
Praise the LORD!
Praise, O servants of the LORD,
Praise the name of the LORD!
Blessed be the name of the LORD
From this time forth and forevermore!
From the rising of the sun to its going down
The LORD’s name is to be praised.

Sing Psalm 113.1-3.
(Armageddon: Who is on the Lord’s Side?)
Praise the Lord, O praise Him, all who know His Name!
From this day forever, magnify His fame!      
From the time each morning when the sun is raised
to its evening waning, let His Name be praised!
Refrain vv. 1, 2
Praise the Lord, O praise Him, all who know His Name!
From this day forever, magnify His fame!

Read Acts 10.1-23; meditate on verses 17-23.

Preparation
1. What happened as Peter was contemplating the vision he had seen?

2. What did God tell him to do?

Meditation

We left Peter perplexed about what he had seen, just as men arrived inquiring as to his whereabouts. Now comes a verbal revelation from God (v. 19), but only the next step, not the whole story. Faith requires obedience only for the next step.

God is the only one who needs to know how it all works out. Our duty, like Peter’s, is to understand our every next step and take it, looking to the Lord and seeking His Kingdom. The men explained that Peter was to come to the home of Cornelius and speak. About what? Was there some problem with him being out of Jerusalem? Had authorities there sent to Cornelius to call and bring him back? What “words” was he supposed to give?

It will take an “Aha!” moment for Peter to connect all the dots, and that will only happen as God’s purpose unfolds fully. Peter reckoned, “Better sleep on this for a night” (v. 23). And they did. Peter wasn’t delaying; he was preparing.

We must step back a bit from this story of Cornelius and Peter to appreciate all that God had done and was doing. God was working in each man, in his own place and time, to prepare them for a glorious coming together in Caesarea, where He would fling wide the doors of His Kingdom to the entire Gentile world.

One next step at a time.

Treasures Old and New: Matthew 13.52; Psalm 119.162
Peter’s next step was an important one. And Peter was being obedient to God’s calling. I think it is important to note that “some brethren from Joppa accompanied him.” (Acts 10.23)

Just because Peter was using his common sense doesn’t mean he wasn’t trusting God completely. It does seem the part of wisdom when two unknown men and a soldier show up to take you somewhere that you might have some friends accompany you. And who knows, maybe he was just taking them along for the exciting experience of faith that he suspected was about to happen? Either way, “Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their labor. For if they fall, one will lift up his companion. But woe to him who is alone when he falls, for he has no one to help him up” (Eccl. 4.9, 10).

For whatever reason, he didn’t go alone. He brought some friends along. Friends who reminded him that God was with him. Friends who would be the physical manifestation of the Spirit of Jesus with him. “Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations…teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always…” (Matt. 28.19, 20). I AM with you always

And here again, Jesus was with His disciples: “Now it happened, on a certain day, that He got into a boat with His disciples. And He said to them, ‘Let us cross over to the other side of the lake.’ And they launched out” (Lk. 8.22). I AM with you in your travels, your going out and your coming in (Ps. 121.8).

Jesus, our Savior, is with us now and forever: “Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you…” (Jn. 14.27).
I AM your peace and will be with you amidst life.

And His Presence with us might look a lot like an earthly companion.

Peter also could have been remembering Jesus’ words, when He was preparing them for their Kingdom work: “Behold, I send you out as sheep in the midst of wolves. Therefore be wise as serpents and harmless as doves. Beware of men, for they will deliver you up to councils and scourge you in their synagogues. You will be brought before governors and kings for My sake, as a testimony to them and to the Gentiles” (Matt. 10.16-18).

Peter, considering all the facts before him, and knowing God’s calling to arise and go, “doubting nothing” (Acts 10.20), went with them. But accompanied by friends. A wise and understandable choice.

“See then that you walk circumspectly, not as fools but as wise, redeeming the time, because the days are evil. Therefore do not be unwise, but understand what the will of the Lord is” (Eph. 5.15-17).

Circumspect next steps are steps well-taken (Prov. 22.3; 27.12).

For reflection

1. How do you determine each day what your next steps should be in seeking the Kingdom and righteousness of God?

2. Why is it important that we have companions to encourage us in working our Personal Mission Field?

3. Whom will you encourage today to take the next step in working their Personal Mission Field?

God knows what services are before us, and how to prepare us; and we know the meaning of what he has taught us, when we find what occasion we have to make use of it. Matthew Henry (1662-1714), Commentary on Acts 10.9-18

Pray Psalm 113.4-9.
Pray that the grace of God might empower you today to touch other people with His love. Ask Him to use you as His witness, both by your deeds and your words.

Sing Psalm 113.1, 2, 4-9.
(Armageddon: Who Is on the Lord’s Side?)
High above the nations, on Your glorious throne,
who is like You, Savior, ruling all You own?
Sovereign and all-knowing, over all above,
praise to You is owing for Your perfect love!
Refrain vv. 1, 2
Praise the Lord, O praise Him, all who know His Name!
From this day forever, magnify His fame!

Though You rule from heaven, looking down on earth,
Praise and thanks be given to Your holy worth!
Down You reach to touch us, clad in ash and dust,
Raising us with such as in Your favor trust.
Refrain

Seated now with princes ‘round Your glorious throne,
we by grace are lifted to become Your own.
Barren women, joyous, glad their children bear;
joining in the chorus, they Your praise declare.
Refrain

T. M. and Susie Moore

You can listen to a summary of last week’s Scriptorium study by going to our website, www.ailbe.org, and clicking the Scriptorium tab for last Sunday. You can download any or all the studies in this series on Acts by clicking here.

Have you mapped out your Personal Mission Field? Watch this brief video, then download the worksheet and get started. Our monthly Personal Mission Field Workshop is chock-full of helpful suggestions for doing the ongoing work of Christ day by day.

If you find Scriptorium helpful in your walk with the Lord, please seek the Lord, asking Him whether you should contribute to the support of this daily ministry with your financial gifts. As the Lord leads, you can use the Contribute button at the website to give with a credit card or through PayPal or Anedot, or you can send your gift to The Fellowship of Ailbe, 360 Zephyr Road, Williston, VT 05495.

Except as indicated, all Scriptures are taken from the New King James Version. © Copyright 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved. For sources of all quotations, see the weekly PDF of this study. All psalms for singing are from The Ailbe Psalter (Williston: Waxed Tablet Publications, 2006), available by clicking here.

T.M. Moore

T. M. Moore is principal of The Fellowship of Ailbe, a spiritual fellowship in the Celtic Christian tradition. He and his wife, Susie, make their home in the Champlain Valley of Vermont.
Books by T. M. Moore

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