“So I sent for you at once, and you have been kind enough to come. Now therefore we are all here in the presence of God to hear all that you have been commanded by the Lord.” (Acts 10:33, ESV)
There have been a few times in my life when I was really hungry. There was the time I was in the Army Ranger School. We had a twelve-day patrol where we were issued one C-Ration per day. Each C-Ration provided 1200 calories. Considering the average calorie requirement for a man is between 2,000 and 3,000 per day, you can imagine what this means to the body. During the patrol I lost over twenty-pounds and remember always being hungry. When we finished the patrol, I remember doing nothing but eating and sleeping. All of our stomachs bulged because of the amount of food we consumed. We were famished.
We all need sufficient nourishment. However, the nourishment we need is not just for the body. We also need nourishment for the soul. Here, we see a man named Cornelius who had a hunger for what really mattered.
In the previous thoughts from Chapter 10, we saw that the Lord had orchestrated a connection with Peter, a Jew who believed Jesus to be the Messiah, and Cornelius, a Roman centurion who was a God-fearing man. Cornelius sent an entourage to Joppa to bring Peter to Caesarea. When Peter and others arrive and meet Cornelius, he says to Peter, “Now therefore we are all here in the presence of God to hear all that you have been commanded by the Lord.” In Cornelius’ words, we sense a wonderful hunger for the things of God. I wonder if we surveyed the hearts of professing Christians, if we would find such an admirable attitude.
Jesus tells us. “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied” (Matthew 5:6, ESV). There is a certain satisfaction found in the things of God that we cannot find in anything else. Many today are seeking satisfaction and yet never finding it because they are seeking the wrong things. Perhaps many, even professing Christians, are seeking satisfaction in careers, relationships, material things, hobbies, money, etc., and day after day, they find nothing but emptiness.
Solomon, the king of Israel after David, was the wisest man on earth. God had prospered him so that he had achieved much and accumulated vast possessions. Yet, he surveyed his life and stated, “Vanity of vanities, says the Preacher, vanity of vanities! All is vanity” (Ecclesiastes 1:2, cf. 12:8). Solomon understood something that we need to grasp. We will never be satisfied in things and worldly ambitions. We will only find true and lasting satisfaction in our relationship with God. We will be satisfied when we seek Him and the awesome things that are His. We will find these in His Word.
When Christians gather on Sunday and other times, I wonder if they have the heart of Cornelius and those Gentiles with him, “we are all here . . . to hear,” or if they have another agenda. I wonder if they are all truly satisfied in life. True satisfaction comes with the correct pursuits, the pursuit of God and His righteousness.