In Pursuit of the Comfort of Truth


Reading: Acts 10-12

The snow is beginning to fly. It will be a while before we get a real snowstorm. Right now we are still in the “in between” period that marks the transition of fall into winter. But still, it's cold and windy and the flakes are falling, suffering an identity crisis as they try to decide whether they really are snow or should actually be hail or rain. It’s a good day for stew and that is exactly what is now beginning to fill the apartment with the slow-cooked richness of a nice piece of beef shank. Comfort food for cold weather.

Cornelius wasn't looking for a nice bowl of comfort food on a winter-like day. But he was looking for comfort. He was a good man “…devout and God-fearing; he gave generously to those in need and prayed to God regularly” (Acts 10:2, NIV). That wasn’t what he said of himself but what others testified about him. When the messengers came to Peter to ask him to come to the centurion’s house, they said: “He is a righteous and God-fearing man, who is respected by all the Jewish people” (Acts 10:22, NIV). Astonishing, considering that Cornelius was one of the much-hated Roman invaders.

But Cornelius knew that something was missing in his spiritual journey. There was an anxiety, an uneasiness about his spiritual state. He was looking for the comfort that only Truth could bring him. So he sent for Peter. When Peter arrived we are told that Cornelius had gathered his household around him and he said to his guest: “…I sent for you immediately, and it is good of you to come. Now we are all here in the presence of God to listen to everything the Lord has commanded you to tell us” (Acts 10:33, NIV).

People like Cornelius, who covet more of God, never feel content with their spiritual state. They aren’t complacent. They are not comforted by the status quo but by the Truth of the Word of God. It’s why they go to church with eager anticipation, why they go away satiated when the Word of God is taught faithfully and worship is God-centered. It is why they go away empty when the Word gets muddied up by human philosophy, and worship is self-promotion and morphs into entertainment.

Cornelius was ready for more. And Peter did not disappoint. Cornelius and his household came to faith that day. You see, the centurion was a good man, religious, but not apparently, a Christian. Yet another reason for Truth to be uncluttered and worship to be focused on its true Object. It makes finding the Source of Truth that much easier.

Do I look at worship, not as a “filler” but as a “filler-upper?”
Do I come to church in eager anticipation of hearing from God?
Do I pray that the one delivering the message will be a spokesperson for God rather than just a speaker?
Do I care as much as Cornelius did to pursue the Truth with all the means at my disposal?
Do I find my supreme comfort in God's Word?

Good questions to ask any day.

Comments

  1. Lynda- great post. Only the TRUTH can liberate us to be what God intended us to be. I love your questions at the end- a great litmus test for the heart- are we pursuers of God or perusers? I'm thankful for His ever present comfort in our lives.

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  2. Thought-provoking post, Lynda! Motives. Why we do what we do. I must say I'm guilty of just going through the motions sometimes - you know, going to church out of habit, rather than going to worship the One it's all about. Thanks for the great example of Cornelius and his passionate search for Truth!

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