“And when he looked on him, he was afraid, and said, What is it, Lord? And he said unto him, thy prayers and thine alms are come up for a memorial before God.” (Acts 10:4)
At Caesarea there lived a man named Cornelius, a centurion in what was known as the Italian Regiment. He and his family were devout and God fearing, and he gave generously to those in need and continually prayed to God.
One day at about three o’clock n the afternoon, he had a vision. He saw an angel of God coming to him and speaking his name. Cornelius stared at him and asked, “What is it, Lord?” How surprised he must have been when the angel revealed that his prayers and gifts to the poor had come up as a memorial offering before God. He was then instructed to send men to Joppa to bring back a man named Simon, who was called Peter. The result of his obedience led to Peter preaching the gospel to Cornelius, who was a Gentile, and leading he and those who were with him to Christ.
We see in this story how salvation came to the life of a devout man who was not a Jew, and how God prepared Peter to lead the man to the Lord. Although he was not a Christian, Cornelius was a man of prayer who gave freely to those who had need. The Lord rewarded his generosity by sending Peter to share with him the good news of the gospel.
What a tribute this was to Cornelius. The Lord was aware of his kind of giving heart, and salvation was extended to him even though he was not one of the chosen people. How thankful we are that God looks at the heart, and not at our outward appearance as so often do our fellow men. May we so live that the Lord will one day say to us, “Well done, thou good and faithful servant.” (Matthew 25:21)
An angel appeared unto Cornelius,
A devout man, and one who feared the Lord,
Revealing that his prayers and alms,
Came up for a memorial that God did highly regard.
May we so live our lives today,
That our heavenly Father will one day say,
“Well done, thou good and faithful servant,
You chose to trust me and obey.”
Dear Lord, Help me to be the Christ-like person you have called me to be. In Jesus name I pray. A-men.