June 15: “Two Activities that Impress God”

4 Minute Read

Today’s Bible Reading:

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

Today’s Bible Verse(s):

Acts 10:2 (NLT): “He was a devout, God-fearing man, as was everyone in his household. He gave generously to the poor and prayed regularly 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 he lived in Caesarea.

As I was reading this story, verses 2 and 4 caught my attention. In verse 2, we see that Luke was led by God’s Holy Spirit to describe Cornelius as he wrote: “He was a devout, God-fearing man.” 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 (NLT): “He was a devout, God-fearing man, as was everyone in his household. He gave generously to the poor and prayed regularly 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 (NLT): “… And the angel replied, ‘Your prayers and gifts to the poor have been received by God as an offering!’”

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

What were they?

Assisting the poor and spending much time in prayer with God. Verses like these make it crystal clear what God values. We also understand that these two virtues are highlighted elsewhere in Scripture – giving to the poor (Matthew 6:2-4) and prayer (Matthew 6:5-6).

So, here are a couple of questions for each of us to ask:

  • Will I spend time in prayer today? 
  • Will I look for opportunities to help someone less fortunate today?

Matt Ellis is the pastor of First Baptist Church in Polk City, Florida (fbcpolkcity.com). His latest book is God’s Grace in the Real World. Connect with him on FacebookTwitter, or LinkedIn.

Photo by West Kenya Union Conference Adventist Media on Unsplash

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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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