Journal Acts 10 (all references are from the ESV; changes in punctuation are mine)

Scripture: “At Caesarea there was a man named Cornelius, a centurion of what was known as the Italian Cohort—A devout man who feared God with all his household, gave alms generously to the people, and prayed continually to God.


About the ninth hour of the day (3 pm local), he saw clearly in a vision an angel of God come in and say to him, “Cornelius.”  And he stared at him in terror and said, “What is it Lord?”


And he said to him, “Your prayers and your alms have ascended as a memorial before God…” Acts 10:1-4


Observation:  I have often thought about guys like these, who are devout, along with all their household.  Why wasn’t my household devout back then?  Why is it now?


Analysis:  There are only a few folks I know of that display “devout” households.


Devout (syn): Sincere, Earnest, Serious, Pious, Deep, Staunch, Devoted, Dedicated, and more.  I notice that “active” isn’t in this list.  Why?


I think maybe “activity” can supplant “devout”—If I am “active” I can hide from being “devout.”  Maybe not, although I have seen folks who do just that.  I am pretty sure that tendency is present in the lives of Man.


Perhaps it is because being Devout is first and foremost seen from the Throne and not Man: “Cornelius, your prayers and alms have ascended as a memorial before God….”  I also notice that being devout included Fearing God, not “believing” God.


There’s a puzzle here that I don’t quite know how to quantify: What’s the difference between “fearing” and “believing?”  There has to be one because it is referred to often in the NT.


“Therefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, so now, not only as in my presence but much more in my absence, work out you own salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God who works in you, both to will and to work for His good pleasure.” (Phil 2:12-13; cp Ro 11:20, 2 Cor 5:1, 2 Cor 7:1, Heb 4:1)


Another thing: Cornelius is head of household, and because of him the whole household is just like him: Believing devoutly, in the fear of God.  How many times have I settled for just “believing” and didn’t strive for “devoutness” in my household?  I have done just that: “Dad, I went forward today and accepted Jesus.” “That’s great, son” and I mentally checked off a box in my list of responsibilities—but went no further, expecting either “osmosis” maturity, a growing hunger for the things of the Kingdom (kind of like me) or abdicating his maturity to someone else.


Where am I today?  Am I following in the example of the Scriptures and Cornelius?  I would like to think I am, second time around in marriage.  But, the more thorough question may be:


Am I convinced and convicted to be devout and fear God in all my ways?


Prayer:  Father, somehow, I do not find conflict in loving You and fearing You, knowing that You are Fearful in all your ways, and are Loving towards me individually.  Maybe it comes as a result of thinking hard about the ways of the Gospel and the Scriptures—I don’t know.

What I do know is that I want to walk worthy of the Gospel all my days so, at the end of my days, it can be said that I served the purposes of God in my generation.

Bring revival, heal this land,