Daily Devotion|Day 270
“And when he observed him, he was afraid, and said, ‘What is it, Lord?’ So he said to him, ‘Your prayers and your alms have come up for a memorial before God’” (Acts 10:4, NKJV).
Christianity was still in its early days. Up to this point, the preaching of the Gospel had been limited to Judea and Samaria. But God’s plan was to complete the profile of His Church by bringing in the Gentiles. Jesus had already appointed Paul to be the Apostle to the Gentiles (see Acts 9:10-15). But Paul’s work had to wait until Peter had first launched the Gospel to the Gentiles according to the Lord’s design (see Acts 15:6-7). After Peter was done, Paul (according to the Lord’s plan) was to primarily focus on ministry to the Gentiles, while the former (Peter) was to focus primarily on ministry to the Jews (see Galatians 2:7-9).
Among the Gentiles, God chose Cornelius and his household as the gateway to Gentile ministry. Cornelius was a centurion in the Roman army. The Bible says that “he was a devout man and one who feared God with all his household, who gave alms generously to the people, and prayed to God always” (Acts 10:2). Today’s opening Scripture tells us what happened when an angel appeared to Cornelius. We are interested in what the angel told Cornelius: “Your prayers and your alms have come up for a memorial before God.”
Cornelius didn’t know Christ. But he knew God existed, and he served Him to the best of his understanding. He feared God and did what was right, praying to Him and giving alms. When the angel appeared, he disclosed to Cornelius that his prayers and good deeds had risen as a memorial before God. In other words, God had taken note of his deeds and committed to remember them. We can go deeper into the text, but let’s pause here and draw out a lesson for our Christian life.
Nothing you do in life goes unnoticed. Your deeds may be hidden from people, but not from God. Remember what Jesus said, “pray to your Father who is in the secret in place; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you openly” (Matthew 6:6). Everything you do or say in life matters. It may not matter to you, but it matters to God. Everything you do, you’re creating a record before God. The question is, “What kind of record are you creating?” God remembered Cornelius for his prayers, his alms and his fear of God. What will God remember you for?
Every minute you’re alive, it is your chance to fear God and do good. God will remember you and reward you in good time. Use your time here on earth wisely. Build a good record for yourself.
Blessing: May the Lord let his peace reign in your family. In the Name of Jesus. Amen.
For further study: Job 1:1-20 and Matthew 6:1-24