Hearts Toward God
Monday, October 19, 2009

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“[Cornelius] and all his family were devout and God-fearing; he gave generously to those in need and prayed to God regularly.” (Acts 10:2)            There is something to be said about the power of having our hearts right before God.  In the Book of Acts there is a powerful story about a man who came to a saving relationship with Jesus Christ.  He was a Roman – a pagan by the standards of the Jewish religion.  He was a Centurion – a man despised by virtue of his authority.  He was not a Jew – an outcast by virtue of his religion.  And he was a Gentile who did not know Jesus Christ – an untouchable of the early Church.  Yet with all strikes against him, something extraordinary happened in his life. 

             Cornelius was in deep prayer one day when he was visited by an angel of God.  The angel told him about Peter and where he was located.  At the same time, Peter too was in prayer and he saw a vision that was abnormal to his faith.  In this vision, God told Peter about Cornelius – a Roman, Gentile, soldier, non-Jew, non-Christian – and Peter was told to take the message of the Good News to this man.  While Peter was obedient, it was not without consternation in his spirit.  

          The messages of this story are many, but the one I want to dwell on this morning is one of having a right heart before God and the power of life that it brings.  And I bring this up because of the arrogance and hostility in some quarters of Christianity today towards people outside their circle.  Cornelius was saved because he searched for God in every aspect of his life.  He was devout and God-fearing.  He was a seeker of God.  That very state of his heart was the basis of his salvation.  God took Cornelius’ faith and brought it to maturity by introducing him to Christ.   But the process began with Cornelius’ devotion to God.  

          So often we think there is power in religion.  So we embrace being Catholic, Baptist, Lutheran, Methodist, or Disciples of Christ.  In some quarters those titles are far more important that being a saved child of the Living God.  Our labels become our God.  Peter was drifting in that direction when God called him out.  He said “Peter, don’t you dare call [a person with a different label] unclean.”  The issue was that the man was seeking God.  Remember God’s words to Jeremiah “You will seek Me and find Me when you seek Me with all your heart.” (Jer. 29:13)  “For the eyes of the Lord range throughout the earth to strengthen those whose hearts are fully committed to Him.” (2 Chron. 16:9)    

        There is power, not in religion, but in hearts that seek God.  God wants us to seek Him, to make Him the desire of our heart.  Yes, Jesus is the only way, but just as Cornelius found out, when he sought God with all his heart, God made sure that he came to know Jesus.  I fear there are people who believe they are saved because they have the right label.  But Scripture is clear; salvation comes by calling on the name of the Lord, by His grace through faith.  So my message today, dangerous as it is, is to seek God with all our hearts and let God arrange the means of fully understanding Christ.  Because, you see, we who call ourselves Christian believe that Jesus is fully God and if we are seeking God with all our hearts, we are seeking Christ and He will reveal Himself to those who seek Him.


Kingdom Road Ministries
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10 South Main, Suite 201
Victor, ID 83455
903-262-5088
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