On Praying & Giving

Sometimes it seems that all you appear to be doing is praying and giving. Simply….. praying and giving. Not very earth-shattering and heaven attention-getting work. Seemingly so. But, it seems God sees it differently from the way we do.

Events in the life of a man named Cornelius are recorded in the tenth chapter of the Book of Acts. Apparently, Cornelius took this prayer and giving thing to heart. Day after day, month after month Cornelius prayed and gave. No heavenly acknowledgment, no earthly rewards. Just praying and giving. He did it faithfully without regret, bitterness or hesitation. There is an endless well from which to draw when you truly give from the heart. No end. Bottomless. Just praying and giving.

However, heaven was watching, silently, and in the shadows. Every prayer, every tear, every shekel unselfishly given to the needy was being tabulated and recorded. The account entries became so numerous that it got heaven’s attention. Jesus took notice of it and had to do something about it. You see, kings take notice of such things. When exemplary things happen on earth, human actions that are done out of humility, sincerity and with pure motive, eventually get the attention of kings from both heaven and earth.

A similar circumstance is recorded in the Book of Ester surrounding king Ahasuerus and a man named Mordecai. The king learned that an unassuming servant foiled an assassination plot against him. No acknowledgment, no bonus, no pay raise, no Cross fountain pens, nothing. But that was also about to change. Again, by way of divine intervention, we find at the book’s conclusion the refused and humble servant  Mordecai was elevated to second in command to the king while rising from obscurity to palace prominence.

Now let’s get back to Cornelius. Jesus dispatched a heavenly host to Cornelius’ prayer room. That’s right. Just when you think heaven is not taking notice the unexpected arrives from God’s war room. Angels. Visions. Divine presence. Heaven’s light. It all appeared to a man named Cornelius because of praying and giving.

The message was simple but strange (as it is most of the time when God interrupts our lives). Send for a guy named Peter in Joppa who is hanging out with a guy named Simon. Just in case the folks in Joppa don’t know which Simon you’re talking about, it’s the Simon in town who has the leather business by the sea. Only one in town that fits that description. That’s right. When God moves in your life He will get all the facts, pieces and directions just right to complete the job.

The rest they say is history. A memorial was built in heaven through the seemingly unnoticed and humble acts of praying and giving.  Cornelius’ faithfulness resulted in the release of God’s blessings upon the rest of us ‘Gentiles’. For God’s Spirit was poured out for the first time on non-Jewish believers in honor of one individual’s persistence.

Never think that your humble acts of praying and giving are unnoticed. Heaven is taking account. You may be the next Cornelius for your family, your church, your friends, your co-workers, your community or your world.

Your memorial is growing. Your visit from heaven is coming. Maybe today, perhaps next month or maybe five years from now. But, know for sure that your faithfulness is getting God’s attention. And the King of glory will show up when you least expect it.

How is your memorial looking today?

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 

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