We love our family and friends, but, how do we help them? In Acts 10, we find Cornelius and his influence on those closest to him. Cornelius had at least three actions through which he affected his loved ones. We must also have these three actions in order to be the example to our family and friends that we should.
First, Cornelius affected his family and friends through his SERVICE (Acts 10:1-2, 22a). The text says both he and his household feared God. His family did so because Cornelius served others and served the Lord. He was a man of God and a man of prayer. Our friends and family need to see us being benevolent. They need to see our religion is a relationship we nurture with the Lord each day, not just something we preach.
Second, Cornelius affected his family and friends through his SEEKING (Acts 10: 7-8, 22b). Though Cornelius was a successful, powerful, and religious man, he did not consider himself to be above need. Pride had not overcome him. Instead, he wanted to know the truth. Our friends and family need to see us as one who is more concerned with being righteous than being right. They need to know the Bible is what we want to guide our life, not our own desires.
Third, Cornelius affected his family and friends through his SUMMONS (v. 24). Ultimately, the previous two only provided a door. He still had to open up that door. It seems like such a simple thing, but too often is very difficult for us. We must invite them to attend services, to study, to worship, to evaluate, and to consider. In the grand scheme of things, an opportunity to be eternally prepared is the best gift we can give to those we love
When we serve others and the Lord, and we are truth seekers ourselves, it sets the proper example for our friends and family. It also shows them what kind of men and women we are. When they see that difference in us and our lives, it provides opportunities for us to share the gospel. While we enjoy this day we spend with family and friends, only through Christ can we be prepared for that eternal homecoming in Heaven!