Two activities that impress God

DAILY BIBLE READING:

1 Kings 14:1–15:24 
Acts 10:1-23 
Psalm 133:1-3 
Proverbs 17:7-8

BIBLE VERSE(S) FOR TODAY:

Acts 10:2 “He was a devout man and feared God along with his whole household. He did many charitable deeds for the Jewish people and always prayed to God.”

REFLECTIONS ON TODAY’S BIBLE VERSE(S):

In Acts 10, a Gentile is being introduced to the readers. Cornelius was a non-Jew who was a leader in Rome’s army and resided in Caesarea.

As I was reading this story, verses 2 and 4 caught my attention. In verse 2, our Verse for Today, we see that the author, Luke, as he was led by God’s Holy Spirit to write this, noted that Cornelius “was a devout man and feared God.” I’d love for God to say that about me! What a wonderful assessment of this man’s life.

So, what was he doing? Listen to what Luke says about him:

Acts 10:2 “He was a devout man and feared God along with his whole household. He did many charitable deeds for the Jewish people and always prayed to God.”

In fact, we read in Acts 10:4 that an angel showed up to speak with Cornelius. Listen to what this heavenly messenger said about him:

Acts 10:4 “…The angel told him, ‘Your prayers and your acts of charity have ascended as a memorial offering before God.'”

So, Luke (led by the Holy Spirit) noted the same two things that the angel did. Both of them noted that Cornelius engaged in two activities that pleased the Lord.

What were they?

Assisting the poor and spending much time in prayer with God.

It is verses like these that make it crystal clear what God values. They tell us precisely what God thinks of certain spiritual disciplines. And even though there is no command here to give to the poor or prayer, there is an invitation to do so.

One more thing: If we are growing in our knowledge of God’s Word, the Holy Spirit may bring something to mind as we reflect on these two admirable attributes. In fact, He drew my mind back to Matthew 6 where Jesus tells us how we can lay up treasures in Heaven.

Give to the poor (Matthew 6:2-4)
Pray (Matthew 6:5-6)

So, we see that giving to the poor and praying are not trivial matters. God highly values them. 

Application:
Will you spend time in prayer today? 
Will you look for opportunities to help someone less fortunate than you?

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I have an incredible wife that God gave to me on May 10, 1997. Since then, the Lord has blessed us with three wonderful boys. I am also the pastor of the First Baptist Church of Polk City, Florida.

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