THE STORY OF JESUS: Acts 10:1-8
“Your prayers and gifts to the poor have come up as a memorial offering before God.”(Acts 10:5)
Cornelius was not a Jew, but he did believe that there was only one God.
He was a Roman centurion, but he was also a humble, generous man.
His understanding of God led him to honour God and serve the poor.
God receives his prayers and deeds as the same as ‘obedience to the Law’.
The Moses Law required sacrifices, but Cornelius did not offer sacrifices.
His heart was open to God, and to people, and God honoured this.
“Indeed, when Gentiles, who do not have the law, do by nature things required by the law, they are a law for themselves, even though they do not have the law.” (Romans 2:14)
God was pleased with Cornelius’s heart, not just his deeds.
God sees beyond our words and deeds – both for the churched and the unchurched.
Cornelius reminds us that God sees good soil outside of the church.
And He also knows the bad soil within the church (see Matthew 7:21-23).
As a Jesus follower, I should not ignore how God is at work in the unchurched.
Their words and deeds can also be received as a memorial offering before God.
What do you sense the Lord saying to you?
Lord, it is not whether we ‘belong to church’ that pleases You, but whether our hearts are sincerely open to You and other people. May my heart be sincere like Cornelius’s.