May 31, 2022 – Tuesday
Acts 10:4 NIV
4 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.
Yesterday, Monday, May 30, 2022, was a holiday in the United States of America. We call it Memorial Day and it was originally known as Decoration Day and is a federal holiday for recognizing and mourning the U.S. military personnel who have died while serving their country in the US miliary. It is observed on the last Monday of May, though it was originally observed on May 30 from 1868 to 1970. Because Memorial Day remains on my mind even today, I wanted to find something related within the Bible, thus our verse for today.
First some context for our verse, the first three verses are, 1 At Caesarea there was a man named Cornelius, a centurion in what was known as the Italian Regiment. 2 He and all his family were devout and God-fearing; he gave generously to those in need and prayed to God regularly. 3 One day at about three in the afternoon he had a vision. He distinctly saw an angel of God, who came to him and said, “Cornelius!” What an unusual man Cornelius was, a centurion who, along with his family, was a devout God-fearing man. We are given an example of what it means to be devout here, giving generously to the needy (poor) and praying to God regularly! Then one day, in a vision, an angel appeared to him and called out his name.
Next, we have our verse for today, 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. I don’t know about you, but I understand Cornelius’ reaction of fear, but somehow, he retained the ability to speak and asked What is it, Lord? Then the angel gave what must have been surprising, yet pleasing reply, Your prayers and gifts to the poor have come up as a memorial offering before God.
So, what is a memorial offering before God? Strong’s Concordance tells us that G3422 is used as a reminder or a remembrance offering. That leads me to 1 Corinthians 11:24-25 when we take communion where Jesus says about the bread, This is my body, which is for you; do this in remembrance of me and then after supper, This cup is the new covenant in my blood; do this, whenever you drink it, in remembrance of me. In both cases in remembrance of me. Vine’s Expository Dictionary defines remembrance as not “in memory of” but in an affectionate calling of the Person Himself to mind. That is certainly fitting for how we should remember Jesus and all that He did for us. And somehow, Cornelius’ memorial offering before God seems to point in the same direction. God certainly appreciates the piety of offerings to the poor and heartfelt prayer more than the sacrifices of lambs and bulls.
Read further in Acts 4 and find the angel told Cornelius to send for Simon who is called Peter. He did and without question the Good News of Jesus Christ was brought to the Gentiles.
Bottom Line: Keep giving from the heart to the poor and needy while praying to God with heartfelt prayers. He does want to hear from you (us), but only for real. He has no patience for false piety.
Prayer: Heavenly Father, Thank You for showing us how much You appreciate sincere heartfelt giving and prayer. – In Jesus Name. Amen.
Riley D. Driver – Pastor
Calvary Chapel of Dayton