Jesus invites us to come to Him “as is.”
This is a wonderful comfort, because sometimes life is messy or uncertain. In the midst of a major change or during a deep struggle, you may not have a strong support system in place or know where to turn. But God is there for you.
What does your situation look like? Do you have support? Do you regularly meet with other Christians? Are you being challenged to take the next steps in your faith?
If you’re not sure what you need or what to do next, you’re in good company. A man named Cornelius in the Book of Acts felt the same way. His story took place not long after Jesus ascended to heaven, while the New Testament church was just beginning.
Cornelius was a faithful man, and he respected God. He gave to the poor and spent time talking to God. He encouraged his entire household to follow his example. Cornelius wanted to deepen his relationship with God, but he was not sure how to do that.
One day, an angel appeared to Cornelius while he was praying. The angel told him that God had heard his prayers. The angel said God wanted Cornelius to meet with a leader of the church, an apostle named Peter. An apostle was someone appointed and authorized by Jesus as His representative.
Right away, Cornelius sent his servants to invite Peter to visit his home. He gathered his friends and relatives to be there when Peter showed up.
Peter preached the good news of peace through Jesus Christ and “the Holy Spirit fell on all who were listening to the message” (Acts 10:44, New Living Translation).
Peter baptized Cornelius, along with his friends and loved ones, and stayed at his house for several days. God solved Cornelius’ problem and blessed his friends and family by connecting him to the church.
Peter helped to govern the church and defend it against false teachers. He, along with other pastors, evangelists, teachers and prophets, formed its primary leadership structure (Ephesians 4:11).
As Pastor Mack Stiles describes it, the church is “the God-ordained local assembly of believers who have committed themselves to each other.”
Are you part of a church in your community? If the answer is no, pray for God’s direction in finding one. He probably will not send an angel as he did to Cornelius, but He does promise to guide us if we ask. Once you find a church, you’ll gain the solid support structure you need as you continue your journey with God.
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