Acts 10.1-3 describes, a man named Cornelius who lived in Caesarea, captain of the Italian Guard stationed there. He was a thoroughly good man. He had led everyone in his house to live worshipfully before God, was always helping people in need, and had the habit of prayer. One day about three o’clock in the afternoon he had a vision. An angel of God, as real as his next-door neighbor, came in and said, “Cornelius.
Cornelius was a rock star. He was a warrior for both men and God. That’s what most Christian men desire to be: strong before men, holy before God. Cornelius was great not because of his position before men, which was considerable. Cornelius was great because of his position before God.
First, like Abraham, he led his family to worship God. This is the first role of a father: to lead his children to Jesus. This is a work of both modeling a personal pursuit of Jesus as well as teaching our children to go and do likewise. The best fathers know God personally and labor intentionally to help their children do the same.
Second, his character was solid, Cornelius was a good man. This means he did the right things in the right way causing people to rejoice and not fear though he was strong. What we do and say is very important but relationally, how we do and say things are just as important. The good man does the right things in the right way.
Finally, Cornelius, and maybe most importantly, was humble before God which is why he spent part of his day praying – habitually. This means Cornelius didn’t pray just when he needed something or was in a tough spot, but like Jesus, he sought God because he loved the Father. These are the kinds of prayers God loves, the kind that seek Him for Who He is and worship Him for how great He is and not just petition Him for what He has.
Oh Lord, the non-Christian, at this juncture, Cornelius, is a better man than most of us. Please change us God and make us men in whom You take great delight, like the warrior Cornelius.