Peter’s Vision

Open Your Bible

Acts 10:1-48, Isaiah 52:7-10, Galatians 4:4-5

It can take a long time to form new habits. Two weeks, perhaps. Maybe three months. Maybe longer. Think of a woman who discovers halfway through life that she’s lactose intolerant and suddenly has to reorient her life around dairy-free recipes. (Or at least dairy without lactose!) She’ll probably slip up a few times in the beginning. It’s a whole new way of thinking. Or picture the college girl the day she moves into a dorm when she’s never had to live with someone her own age before. Now that she’s sharing a room, she may not get to blast her favorite music anymore or keep the reading lamp on until after midnight. She’ll have to form some new habits. It takes time for anyone to unlearn old ways of thinking in order to learn new ones. 

When I read today’s passage about Peter’s vision, I can’t help but think about habits. Before the time of Christ, Jews had long formed the practice of eating certain foods and avoiding others. There were ceremonial laws against food considered unclean, and the animals, reptiles, and birds Peter observed in this sheet coming down from heaven were definitely on that list (Acts 10:11–12). The Jewish people were walking in a deeply ingrained habit of only eating ceremonially clean meat and, by extension, not associating with those deemed unclean. So, this vision of Peter’s is a challenge to not just form a new habit—treating the Gentiles as equals—but to unlearn an old one.  

People like Peter formed the habit of avoiding what was impure as a way to try and honor God. But after Christ carried out His ministry on earth and ascended into heaven, the early Church was left with a brand new mission. And it was a hard one to swallow! This is why a voice has to tell Peter not once, but three times of this new way of thinking (isn’t this so like Peter?): “What God has made clean, do not call impure.” (v.15).  

After Peter visits Cornelius in Caesarea, we hear this beautiful statement from his lips: “God has shown me that I must not call any person impure or unclean” (v.28). What an incredible glimpse into God’s heart! Providentially, the disciples weren’t so ingrained in their habitual ways of living that they couldn’t take on a new way. No, they were open to change even in their confusion and went on to bring the good news to the Gentiles, just as Christ asked them to, so that the whole world might see “the salvation of our God” (Isaiah 52:10). 

Like with all of us, it took a little bit of time, but they were able to take on this new life in Christ through the work of the Holy Spirit. The same invitation is there for us.

(43) Comments

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43 thoughts on "Peter’s Vision"

  1. Emily Morris says:

    I never noticed before how the Lord used the food to refer also to people. What a great reminder for me to never refer to people as common as the Lord shows no partiality. I’m thankful that we also have the same Holy Spirit in us to teach us new habits!

  2. Anneliese Peterson says:

    I never noticed before that he once again pointed out something 3 times to Peter. I feel like that is significant. Goes back to “Do you love me? …. Feed my sheep.” Just some pretty personalized continuity there.

  3. Lynda Pontious says:

    My first SRT study and I am enjoying it immensely

  4. Amy Bishop says:

    Christianity was the first religion to disregard racial, cultural, and national limitations.
    I was just struck by this thought in my reading today. I sometimes want to look at people through the lens of humanity, but I must change our prescription to that of the love of the Lord, Jesus Christ.

  5. Kristin Porter says:


  6. Adrienne says:

    May we always fear Him and do what is right!

  7. Brooke P says:

    So thankful for this community, I was running behind this morning and wasn’t able to comment, but I’m catching back up tonight and I am moved by this community. SRT your prayers and your openness is beautiful. Praying for you all. May you feel the Lord with you!❤️

  8. Sky Hilton says:

    ” And the voice spake unto him again the second time, What God hath cleansed, that call not thou common.”

    This verse seems so profound to me. I don’t understand what Peter’s vision means, but I love how God always finds a way to get two people to meet. I also still love how the apostles point the finger to Jesus when someone asks how they do miracles. So many of us would love to take the praise.. but we have to give it all to JESUS! Its not our doing! Our victories are His!

    God sent forth His Son to redeem the world… to rescue us, when we didn’t deserve it. Let’s give Him the praise and thanks He deserves!

  9. Hannah-Rose Dallos says:

    Dear Lord, please help me to have your heart for your people.

  10. Jennifer Anapol says:

    I pray that I would have an opened mind to accept God’s truth, even if it is different than what I may have expected.

  11. Traci Gendron says:

    MICHELLE PATIRE – I struggle with the app as well. I have been going on my computer for a long time now. It seems so much easier.

  12. Traci Gendron says:

    RHONDA J – Thank you so much for your words of understanding and empathy. It has been a long road. Tanner was diagnosed at 14 months old. He is now 33. It hasn’t always been hard. We had some beautiful healthy years. Cystinosis is a progressive disease. We only have a med that will slow the progression. It is the hardest thing that I have had to endure. And it was MAURA that I met with. Wouldn’t it be nice to have a retreat that we could all go to?!
    MAURA – Good to see your comment today! Thank you again for your kind words. I’m keeping you in my prayers!

  13. Dorothy says:

    Kathy your post reminds me of a song by Johnny Paycheck titled “Outlaws Prayer” and it talks about how we can tell others what they have to be like to come in and worship in our church. It is worth listening to whether you like country music or not.
    Sharon, Jersey Girl I like your wording, “His Holy Spirit” instead of the Holy Spirit, I’m going to have to start using that.
    I, too, didn’t see Whitney’s post but will pray for you.

  14. Michelle Patire says:

    I tried posting on the app but I’m not sure it worked. I don’t like using the app as much as the website– I wonder if anyone else struggles with app? Maybe I’ll send admin a message about the bugs I’ve encountered using it.

    I wanted to say thank you to all those who prayer for me. I felt the power of prayer last night, after I posted. God is good and I am thankful He hears us!

    I also wrote that this Scripture was a reminder that we are all being sanctified. Peter and Cornelius- both devout man who God was working on. Peter, unlearning the law of his heart, as Bailey beautifully put. And Cornelius, who worships God but also bowed down to Peter.

    Yet, God’s grace is huge and they are given it.

    Thankful, today.

    Praying you all would see your requests met with this same grace ☺️

    ( Sorry if this is a double post bc of app issues! )

  15. Dorothy says:

    Can you imagine having a sheet full of animals come down on top of you, not just any animals, animals you weren’t supposed to have anything to do with? WOW!!! What a way to get the message across, but as usual it took three times with Peter. Then to be called to a gentile’s house, at least he got the message. Where would we be right now if he hadn’t got the message and Paul hadn’t preached to the gentiles? Would the message have spread the way it did? Oh my!!! I don’t know if I can imagine a world without my Lord to turn to when times are hard or praise when times are good. LORD YOU are the ONE and ONLY. You had Your Son die for my and the world’s sins then You sent the Holy Spirit to DWELL in ALL who believe. I BELIEVE!!! I BELIEVE!!! I BELIEVE!!!
    Sisters I ask for continued prayers for my aunt and family. She was moved to a nursing facility over the weekend for rehab. My uncle is stressing out that they may not have the money to afford it and my cousin is stressing out because of him.
    Be blessed, praise God and share the Good News today sisters.

  16. Clara Boggs says:

    Prayers going up for all requests. Thank you all for being open to God working through us and changing us when he sees the need.

  17. LindaK says:

    For Kathy Yes!

  18. Victoria E says:

    Kristen and Whitney I will be praying for you/ your requests. Taylor so good to hear your testimony!

  19. Maura says:

    Dear Sisters, I forgot to reset my alarm, but Praise God, I woke up in time to read the devotion and your comments rather fast. Last night I read through yesterdays as well. Dear Traci, thank you for meeting with me, it was so good to sit and talk with you. I see your faith and your strength and can only imagine all the heart ache you have endured. But God, I know from your words has been with you. I don’t know why the miracles Tanner has needed have not come now as your heart so desires, but I do know they will. I will keep praying for Tanner, and for you. May you feel how deep, and mighty Jesus love is. Ruth Long, thank you for sharing yesterday! Michelle Patire, praying for more income for you and for God’s provision for a car that runs well. I know He provides may it overwhelm you. Let others around you know your need. Praying for doors to open for a good salary. Mari V, praying for your requests, that you feel Him holding you, love you dear lady. Foster Mom, thank you for sharing about Justin Bieber. It is so awesome, when God takes hold of lives, and we unashamedly speak of His compassion and goodness. Good for Justin. Nancy Singleton, praying for Chris, and your family in the loss of your cousin and his wife. May you and your daughter feel His love around you in this journey. Our God is drawing us near in the depths, this world is rough, abusive, and relentless. But God, He loves us unconditionally, completely and beyond our understanding. Hold tight to Him, let Him hear your cries, and know you are not alone, but held by the One who knows the struggle, took the hatred, the sin, the cross and holds the Joy. Hugs Love to you all. Let’s keep lifting up these requests in prayer and faith. Praying ERB, Traci G, I will keep knocking. Love to you all.

  20. Claire B says:

    Good morning She’s. I have been reading but not posting (often is the case due to time) but petition your requests in my prayers. Hope everyone has a good good day.

  21. Claire B says:

    Good morning She’s. I have been reading but not posting (often is the case) but petition your requests in my prayers. Whitney wish I had known you were up,

  22. Annette says:

    I can’t see Whitney’s comment either but I saw that Kay Warren is hosting Dr Dan Allender on her Breathe series Oct 23 2 to 4 PT and thought may be helpful.

  23. GramsieSue . says:

    Cornelius was a model of religious respectability-yet he was not a saved man. He had piety and morality, but he did not have salvation. Apart from hearing the message of the Gospel and trusting Christ, Cornelius had no hope. We have to be willing to obey wherever God leads. Someone may need to hear the Word from us. Blessings to all my Sisters here.

  24. Donna Wolcott says:

    Prayers Whitney and for each request today. May I add another, a prayer for the release of the 17 missionaries in Haiti. This includes 5 children and we are many sisters, so may we lift up many prayers for their safe return. Thank you.

  25. Mari V says:

    Good morning Whitney. Yours is the first post I read. (6:30AM PST). As a single mother myself (and have a teenage daughter), I am praying for you and your daughter.

  26. Rhonda J. says:

    @Tracy G, My heart hurts for you. I have seen your post for a long while now and thought of you often. I have thought many times how hard it would be to watch one’s child be in pain or sickness, and I know your precious boy has it even harder. But God gave him a beautiful mom such as you for some purpose and you to him and I guess you just have to praise Him for that I have no great wisdom for you, I know I would be full of anger in the same situation. I will continue to pray for healing for him and strength for you. I hope your husband is better. And also I am so happy and jealous that you and Maura got to meet up! How fun!! Or was it Mari V? Hmm.. :))

  27. Kelly says:

    Sharon, Jersey Girl et el – just to give a different angle on the three-fold vision. It may have been for emphasis not for just getting through Peter’s thick skull. Just like Nebuchadnezzar had 2 dreams that ment the same thing, or that the seraphim in Isaiah’s vision cried out “holy” three times.

  28. Sarah Ritchie says:

    Angie your post is beautiful. I think this most times I read them and hope I tell you enough. Your faith is a delight to witness.

  29. Nancy Singleton says:

    Thank you Kelly.

  30. Sharon, Jersey Girl says:

    After all this time with Jesus, Peter is finally beginning to get that Jesus came to fulfill the law, and that the law is now of none effect. It took 3 times of God telling Peter to “rise, Peter; kill and eat.” (Acts 10:13). It’s interesting that God had to tell him 3 times, as it was 3 times that Peter denied Jesus, I wonder if that came to his mind. (Luke 22:54-62) Whatever was going on in his head – he finally got it!

    I am so glad that God never gives up on us – even when we sin, even when we are thick headed. He is so merciful, loving and kind! I love the reminder when I read Acts 10:43 – “that through His name, WHOEVER believes in Him WILL receive remission of sins” – this includes me and everyone in all history! Praise God that salvation is open to everyone. Praise God – He is not partial! Praise God for the gift of His Holy Spirit, living within us!…so much to be thankful for!

    @Taylor – praising God that you are open to following the convictions of the Holy Spirit, especially when it comes to this new relationship. I have been praying for you for some time now, and will continue.
    @Whitney – I couldn’t see your post but I too am praying.
    @Angie – the students (and parents) are so blessed to have someone teaching them that loves them to their very soul and prays for them. God bless as you write to each and every parent. I’m adding you to the list of teachers that I pray for.

    Blessings to you all SRT sisters!

  31. SarahJoy says:

    Catching up…
    Yesterday I meant to post about the Bible Project’s video on holiness. It’s such an awesome explanation of how Jesus came and changed everything about the need to be ritually pure.

    Today, I’m humbled that I was taught about Jesus and His truth at a young age. My husband came to faith when he was 20. His life and testimony remind me to never write anyone off. When I might be tempted to assume someone is too far gone, may I stay humble and remember that but by the grace of God go I. He has given me everything, and it is the life everyone needs. May my life and words offer grace like candy.

  32. Taylor says:

    @Angie I can’t see Whitney’s post either but lifting her and her son up in prayer regardless!

    I love the two sides of this devotion. On the one hand, it’s that NO ONE is too far from salvation and we should love EVERYONE regardless. The second side is that sometimes we have sin habits we need to unlearn in order to become more like Jesus. I had somewhat of a revelation over the weekend about my new relationship. He and I talked about physical boundaries and compared to his boundaries mine were much more “relaxed” based on my past relationships where there were no boundaries. I felt the Lord working on my heart over the weekend that I can still be loved and love someone else in other ways than physically. I feel like this is a sin pattern I’ve struggled with for a LONG time that the Lord is finally chiseling away at. For that I praise Him that He never stops sanctifying us. Thank you all so much for your prayers <3

  33. Angie says:

    I am not sure why but Whitney’s post does not show for me. I remember this struggle a couple years ago with not everyone being able to see all the posts. I will lift you and your son, Whitney, to the Lord.

    Thank you for your prayers last night for conferences. I did not have a voice during the school day from a sore throat and painful canker sores, but God…made a way. I was able to speak loud and clear enough without pain, even with a mask. I praise Him fully for that gift. God provided a way for me to speak the words of love He was giving. He knew exactly what I would need, and provided. I thank and praise God for how He will use the conversations for good in my children and their family’s lives. I praise Him for the way He helped me respond and not react, the way He helped me to respect and honor, love in His name. And I ask, Lord Jesus, that you help me follow through with the help some need. This morning in my Bible reading time about Cornelius I felt like I should write each one a personal note thanking them for their time and the privilege to work with their children. May I find the time, and the words Lord God.
    Kristen I will be praying for you as conferences come Nov. 2nd. There are two ladies in my BSF group who are also teachers and I’ve been praying for them. It occurred to me this morning what a tremendous blessing it is to be able to walk this journey, in the strength, power, and love of Jesus, that even in the challenging, exhausting, and sometimes difficult experiences He is with us, AND then we get to pray for others who are going through the same thing. Our prayers, all coming together like a fragrant bouquet before the Father, understanding, in unity and love.
    Tricia, I am lifting you as well this morning. I have not walked the pathway you are on so I do not understand fully, but I can try to love you well and pray that those who have walked as you walk will join me in prayer for you, those who understand in depth. I see such beauty and strength in the love you pour into your child. I cannot imagine the suffering bound in such love. But I know God created you, much like Esther for such a time as this and your child is blessed because God gave him you. Jesus, thank you for your love…shower Tricia I pray.
    Michelle Patire, I am also lifting up your need for “wheel that work,” and asking God to use this for good in your life. May He provide and draw you close at the same time. Amen.

  34. Kaye Aber says:

    Praying for you Whitney! God pursues us! This verse has helped me extraordinarily with my anxiety and depression and I hope it will resonate with you: “But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.” 2 Corinthians‬ ‭12:9‬ ‭NIV

  35. AG says:

    Lord help me to remember you love me fully with no judgement and that as a believer and follower, I should love love others with no judgement.

  36. Kelly says:

    “God doesn’t show favoritism, but in every nation the person who fears him and does what is right is acceptable to him.”

    This is why we can rejoice when those least likely to embrace God’s salvation (Justin B., Kayne West, a Nazi prison guard, a devout Muslim, a political figure, an outspoken atheist, a murderer…) turn to God. May we like Peter and the others from Jerusalem extend the love of Christ as they learn how to live in obedience to God.

    MICHELLE PATIRE – praying that God will lead you to a solution for your car problems.

    NANCY SINGLETON – sorry for your loss. May the Lord be with you as you travel. Praying for Chris’ recovery too.

    JULIA BELO – praying Linda’s scans give the doctors insight to treatment.

    ANGIE – praying you are able to minister peace to the parents you see.

  37. Kathy says:

    God loved and accepted me just as I was. He made no stipulations about how I looked, dressed, what I ate, what I did for a living, where I lived. All He asked of me was to come just as I am, repent and believe in the name of His Son, Jesus Christ, and I would be saved. I must give others the same freedom to come into a relationship with Jesus with no stipulations or requirements on my part just as they are.

  38. Kristen says:

    I just read the comments from yesterday. Prayers for all. Angie, I teach too, and we are supposed to have conferences on November 2nd. What a wonderful way to approach not only conferences, but people everyday. So many that just may feel unseen or unloved. May, by the power of the Holy Spirit, we show Jesus to all. My mom called with another prayer request. A man named Jim Burns. Im not sure that he is saved, and the doctor said it is only a matter of time. Please pray for his healing and salvation. Praying that none perish without salvation, and that God in His mercy, draws them to Him, repentance, and eternal salvation by any means necessary. Praying that peoples’ eyes would be open to the Truth and their/our need for the Savior. I pray that nothing or no one or even their own pride or beliefs or lies stops them. I pray that they feel the urgency to come to Him today. Amen

  39. Tammie George says:

    I am up and praying for you also Whitney. I have an adult son who struggles terribly with adult ADD and depression and anxiety.

  40. Tammie George says:

    I am also up early and praying for you Whitney. I have an adult son who struggles terribly with adult ADD and depression and anxiety.

  41. Poppy Waskett says:

    Praying for you Whitney.

  42. Mary Ann Graves says:

    Praying for you Whitney

  43. Lauren James says:

    Hi Whitney! I’m up too and I’m praying for you! God has peace for you. Phil 4:6-7 do not be anxious in anything but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God and the peace of God which surpasses all understanding will guard your heart and your mind in Christ Jesus!