Do you remember the story of Cornelius in Acts 10? Cornelius, a Gentile, was a good man. He had it all as a Centurion soldier – money, success, power, respect. He even did all the right things. A devout man who feared God along with all his household, he worshipped Israel’s God even though he wasn’t a Jew. He gave generously and prayed continually.
But he still hadn’t found what he was looking for.
He had it all but still had nothing.
Until one day, during his regular prayer time, an angel showed up with instructions to go find a man named Peter. He obeyed right away.
At the same time, God was preparing Peter to go, to get out of his comfort zone, and to see others as God sees them. Three times God showed Peter he was to break his Jewish tradition, and Peter responded by arguing, “By no means.” He had never violated his heritage, and he didn’t plan to start now.
Peter was perplexed, then the men sent by Cornelius showed up. His eyes were opened to God’s plan, and he answered the call. “I am the one you are looking for.” He was called to associate with a Gentile – previously unlawful for him to do.
He didn’t understand, but he went anyway.
The result was a household of Gentiles converted to Christianity. “And the believers from among the circumcised who had come with Peter were amazed, because the gift of the Holy Spirit was poured out even on the Gentiles.” (Acts 10:45)
This month we’ve been diving into the question, “What are Men Looking For?” We can see at least 2 answers in Cornelius and Peter that point us in the right direction.
1. We need Relationship vs. Religion.
Cornelius was religious. It appears he may have had genuine faith. But he didn’t have Christ.
2. We need Examples to Follow.
Counterfeit Christianity is rampant in society – culture worship, heroes that might be great men but will always fall short. Cornelius was so desperate; he fell to worship Peter upon his arrival. He was trying, but his allegiance was misplaced. He needed Peter to disciple him in truth, and Peter needed to answer the call.
Success. Religion. Tradition. There is no solution to the sin problem without Christ. Cornelius looked good, even godly, but he was missing the most important thing… Salvation. And Peter needed to obey God with an open mind and to be prepared to be used by God to minister to Cornelius.
What is God preparing you for?
Did you ever think he might be preparing someone else who needs you at the same time? Just like the angel sent to Cornelius and the vision had by Peter, the solution isn’t hidden. He still calls us to obey, share the truth of the gospel, and make room for the work of the Holy Spirit.
Like Cornelius, it’s what men are looking for, whether they know it or not.