Cornelius stared at him in fear. “What is it, Lord?” he asked. The angel answered, “Your prayers and gifts to the poor have come up as a memorial offering before God.”1
When my children were younger, we ministered regularly to homeless and under-privileged families. My kids got used to “giving to the poor” and never missed an opportunity to help someone out. One day, while in the car, we pulled up to a stoplight and came upon a man holding a sign that simply read, “Hungry”. Having just picked up some fast food, my son immediately thought of sharing a burger with this person. But when he reached his small hand out the window to hand over the treat, the “hungry” man scowled as he took the food without appreciation. That action was enough to discourage my son from wanting to help a needy person again.
Feeling as if a gift has been wasted can keep us from giving in the future. But we should never tire of giving generously, whether we have a little or a lot from which to give. Regardless of the way our gifts are received by those we give them to, God sees our generosity. God sees the sacrifices you may make to help others and knows each time you’ve put someone's needs before your own. Those actions are memorial offerings before the Lord.
Acts chapter 10 opens with an introduction to a man named Cornelius. He is known for his devout relationship with the Lord and his incredible generosity. An Angel comes to him in a vision and tells him that God has heard his prayers and his acts of charity have ascended to the very presence of God! What an honor! If Cornelius ever thought that his deeds went unnoticed, he was assured the contrary. Our generous actions are many times rejected or ill-received, but what matters is the condition of our heart when we give. Let your trust in God inspire a radical generosity toward others, it is one of the most effective ways to show people the love of Christ. Yesterday, I witnessed my son reaching out his hand once again and God’s Word tells me that his actions were noticed. Keep Giving!
Suggested Prayer: Dear Heavenly Father, help me to understand that when I help those in need I am serving you. In showing love to others, I am honoring you. And when I give generously, I am following your ultimate example. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
1. Acts 10:4 (NIV).
Today’s Encounter was written by: Veronica B.
All articles on this website are written by
Richard (Dick) Innes unless otherwise stated.