by Pastor Tim Burt
This morning as I was reading about Cornelius, it brought me back in my thoughts prior to receiving Jesus. Though I didn’t know God, I hungered to know Him.
In Acts 10:1-2 (NIV) we read about a Roman leader that hungered to know God! “At Caesarea there was a man named Cornelius, a centurion in what was known as the Italian Regiment. He and all his family were devout and God-fearing; he gave generously to those in need and prayed to God regularly.”
While most Roman military of that day hated the Jews, Cornelius loved them and was kind and benevolent to them. Because of the purity of this man’s heart—his reverence for the Lord, and his actions to do what was right, God answered his prayers by sending those who would help reveal Jesus to Cornelius. It is so beautiful to note that even though this man did not have a personal relationship with God through Jesus, God saw and honored Cornelius’ heart to help him establish one.
It’s likely that many of us reading Fresh Manna today were like Cornelius. Before receiving Jesus into our hearts, some of us may have thought about God, wanted to know God, and even tried to find ways to live that we hoped would be pleasing to God. Some of us tried to figure out from our imagination, how to live for God—something that our imagination can not equip us to properly do. Some of us may remember having a hunger to truly know God, but didn’t know how to make finding Him happen. We probably prayed and pleaded with God—maybe occasionally even bargaining with Him when we were in trouble. But again, we did this from our imagination. We really didn’t know what the scriptures taught about God because we hadn’t read or studied them yet. Our quest to seek God might have felt pretty one way—us speaking to Him without reciprocation. But like Cornelius, we did not give up. In some way, we kept seeking God in our heart. And thank God we did! Seeking God moves the heart of God. Proverbs 8:17 (NLT) says, “I love all who love me. Those who search will surely find me.” And, Jeremiah 29:13 (NKJV) says, “You will seek Me and find Me, when you search for Me with all your heart.”
It is because of the grace and mercy of God and our continuing desire to know Him, that like Cornelius, God was able to finally get through to our hearts so we could meet Jesus and receive Him as our personal Lord and Savior. Maybe someone invited you to church. Maybe someone told you how to get to Heaven. God uses people in so many ways to help reveal Himself to others! This is why we should always try to include in our prayers, Lord, reveal yourself in the lives of those seeking you today. And use me if you will!
God loves to reveal Himself, His heart, His character, His love, and His desire to bless and lead us through life as we seek Him. If I earnestly seek to know Him, God will find ways to speak to my heart. He’ll speak through His word, through my Pastor, through a Christian friend, and countless other ways. I can count on it.
He knew of Cornelius, of his pure and generous heart, and of his good works. Cornelius didn’t have God’s word to guide his life but He did reverence God, seek God, and bless others from a pure heart. Nothing that is good and right escapes God’s sight. We can count on that! God looks at and honors the heart. He did so for Cornelius. It was powerful. God sent an angel to speak to and comfort him and then to bring his answer—the Apostle Peter to be the one to help him be saved.
Have confidence today that as your heart is pure in your attempt to seek God, He will honor and answer your prayers. Learning and growing is a continuing process, but a sincere seeking heart opens the eyes of your understanding to see and hear those truths that God so desperately wants to impart to you!
John 14:21 (NLT) “Those who accept my commandments and obey them are the ones who love me. And because they love me, my Father will love them. And I will love them and reveal myself to each of them.”
In His love,
Pastor Tim Burt
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