Faithlife Sermons

Opportunities to Obey God

Sermon  •  Submitted   •  Presented   •  27:41
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God gives us opportunities to obey him every day. We can get caught up in getting results, but what He really wants from us is obedience. We need to seek His will and yield to his prompting, obeying right away and fully.

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1 2 THE LORD SHOWED A MAN A HUGE BOULDER • AND COMMANDED THE MAN TO PUSH • AGAINST THE ROCK WITH ALL HIS MIGHT • THE MAN OBEYED PUSHING AGAINST THE ROCK DAY AFTER DAY 3 • FOR MANY YEARS HE PUSHED WITH ALL HIS MIGHT • EACH DAY HE WOULD LAY DOWN TO SLEEP • WORN OUT AND SORE FEELING HIS WHOLE DAY HAD BEEN IN VAIN • YOU SEE THE ROCK NEVER MOVED NO MATTER HOW HARD THE MAN PUSHED 4 • SEEING THAT THE MAN WAS DISCOURAGED SATAN WHISPERED IN HIS EAR • “YOU HAVE BEEN PUSHING FOR SUCH A LONG TIME • AND IT HAS NOT BUDGED AT ALL” • “WHY KILL YOURSELF OVER THIS” 5 • YOU ARE NEVER GOING TO MOVE IT • THE NEXT DAY THE MAN THOUGHT • I’LL JUST PUT IN MY TIME • GIVE THE MINIMUM EFFORT • THAT WILL BE GOOD ENOUGH • BUT BEFORE HE PUSHED THE ROCK EACH DAY HE PRAYED 6 • SO KNEELING DOWN TO PRAY HE SAID • “LORD,” HE SAID, “I HAVE LABORED LONG AND HARD IN YOUR SERVICE, • PUTTING ALL MY STRENGTH TO DO THAT WHICH YOU HAVE ASKED. • YET, AFTER ALL THIS TIME, I HAVE NOT EVEN BUDGED • THAT ROCK BY HALF AN INCH. 7 • SO KNEELING DOWN TO PRAY HE SAID • “LORD,” HE SAID, “I HAVE LABORED LONG AND HARD IN YOUR SERVICE, • PUTTING ALL MY STRENGTH TO DO THAT WHICH YOU HAVE ASKED. • YET, AFTER ALL THIS TIME, I HAVE NOT EVEN BUDGED • THAT ROCK BY HALF AN INCH. 8 • WHAT IS WRONG? WHY AM I FAILING?” • TO THIS THE LORD RESPONDED, “MY CHILD, • WHEN I ASKED YOU TO SERVE ME AND YOU ACCEPTED, • I TOLD YOU THAT YOUR TASK WAS TO PUSH 9 • AGAINST THE ROCK WITH ALL YOUR STRENGTH, • WHICH YOU HAVE DONE. • NEVER ONCE DID I SAY TO YOU THAT I EXPECTED YOU TO MOVE THE ROCK. • YOUR TASK WAS TO PUSH. AND NOW YOU COME TO ME, • WITH YOUR STRENGTH SPENT, THINKING THAT YOU HAVE FAILED. • BUT, IS THAT REALLY SO? LOOK AT YOURSELF. • YOUR ARMS ARE STRONG AND MUSCLED • YOUR HANDS ARE CALLUSED FROM CONSTANT PRESSURE, 10 11 • THROUGH OPPOSITION YOU HAVE GROWN MUCH • YOU HAVEN’T MOVED THE ROCK. • BUT YOUR CALLING WAS TO BE OBEDIENT AND TO PUSH • AND TO EXERCISE YOUR FAITH AND TRUST IN MY WISDOM. 12 • THIS YOU HAVE DONE. “I, MY CHILD, WILL NOW MOVE THE ROCK.” • AT TIMES WHEN WE HEAR A WORD FROM GOD, • WE TEND TO USE OUR OWN INTELLECT TO DECIPHER WHAT HE WANTS, 13 • WHEN ACTUALLY WHAT GOD WANTS IS JUST SIMPLE OBEDIENCE AND FAITH IN HIM • LIFE IS FILLED WITH OPPORTUNITIES TO OBEY GOD • EVERYDAY WE HAVE CHANCES TO FORGIVE PEOPLE • TO LOVE OUR NEIGHBOR TO SHARE THE GOSPEL • WE NEED TO SEEK THESE CHANCE TO OBEY • AND TRUST IN GOD, OBEYING BY FAITH WHAT HE HAS COMMANDED US TO DO 14 15 • TODAY WE ARE GOING TO LOOK AT • PETER SEEKING GODS WILL • LISTENING TO HIS COMMANDS • AND “EVENTUALLY” TRUSTING WHAT GOD HAS COMMANDED • TURN TO ACTS 10:9 16 • LUKE HAD JUST TOLD US OF A ROMAN OFFICER NAMED CORNELIUS • WHO HAD RECEIVED A MESSAGE FROM AN ANGEL • THE ANGEL COMMANDED CORNELIUS TO SEND FOR PETER • CORNELIUS HAD OBEYED AND SENT MEN TO BRING PETER BACK TO HIM ACTS 10:9–16 17 ON THE NEXT DAY, AS THEY WERE ON THEIR WAY AND APPROACHING THE CITY, PETER WENT UP ON THE HOUSETOP ABOUT THE SIXTH HOUR TO PRAY. BUT HE BECAME HUNGRY AND WAS DESIRING TO EAT; BUT WHILE THEY WERE MAKING PREPARATIONS, HE FELL INTO A TRANCE; 18 AND HE SAW THE SKY OPENED UP, AND AN OBJECT LIKE A GREAT SHEET COMING DOWN, LOWERED BY FOUR CORNERS TO THE GROUND, AND THERE WERE IN IT ALL KINDS OF FOUR-FOOTED ANIMALS AND CRAWLING CREATURES OF THE EARTH AND BIRDS OF THE AIR. 19 A VOICE CAME TO HIM, “GET UP, PETER, KILL AND EAT!” BUT PETER SAID, “BY NO MEANS, LORD, FOR I HAVE NEVER EATEN ANYTHING UNHOLY AND UNCLEAN.” AGAIN A VOICE CAME TO HIM A SECOND TIME, 20 “WHAT GOD HAS CLEANSED, NO LONGER CONSIDER UNHOLY.” THIS HAPPENED THREE TIMES, AND IMMEDIATELY THE OBJECT WAS TAKEN UP INTO THE SKY. ntb SEEKING GOD’S WILL 21 • AS THE MEN CORNELIUS SENT WERE NEARING THE CITY • PETER WENT UP ON THE ROOF TO PRAY • THE TEXT SAYS IT WAS; “ABOUT THE SIXTH HOUR TO PRAY.” • AS THEY MEASURED TIME THIS WOULD BE HIGH NOON 22 • MOST PEOPLE PRAYED AT MORNING AND EVENING • BUT PETER WENT BEYOND WHAT MOST PEOPLE DID • AS HE WAS PRAYING; “HE BECAME HUNGRY AND WAS DESIRING TO EAT” • LUKE USES AN UNUSUAL WORD FOR HUNGRY HERE 23 • IT SEEMS TO MEAN INTENSELY HUNGRY, FAMISHED • SO SOMEONE GOES TO FIX HIM SOMETHING TO EAT • AND WHILE HE IS WAITING FOR THE FOOD • HE FALLS INTO A TRANCE, • I HAVE BEEN THAT KINDA HUNGRY A FEW TIMES • THIS DIFFERENT FROM THE VISION CORNELIUS HAD • THE WORD TRANSLATED TRANCE HERE LITERALLY MEANS • OUT OF HIMSELF, OR BESIDE HIMSELF • THIS IS TALKING ABOUT A SEMI CONSCIOUS STATE 24 25 • AND IN THIS SEMI CONSCIOUS STATE GOD COMMUNICATED WITH HIM (PAUSE) • WHEN WE PRAY WE ARE SEEKING TO COMMUNICATE WITH GOD • MANY TIMES THIS COMMUNICATION FEELS VERY ONE SIDED • WE TALK AND HE LISTENS 26 • BUT ON OCCASION IF WE ARE QUIET AND LISTEN • HE GUIDES AND DIRECTS US, BRINGS THINGS TO OUR MINDS • POINTS OUT THINGS WE NEED TO WORK ON • POKES OUR CONSCIENCE, CONVICTS US 27 • MAYBE NOT IN THROUGH A VISION IN A TRANCE • BUT PERHAPS IN THE SAME KIND OF SEMI CONSCIOUS STATE PETER WAS IN ON THAT ROOF TOP (PAUSE) • WE JUST NEED TO BE SEEKING GOD’S ntb LISTENING TO GOD’S WILL 28 • LUKE DESCRIBES PETER’S VISION • AS THE SKY, OR “HEAVENS” OPENING UP • “AN OBJECT LIKE A GREAT SHEET COMING DOWN, LOWERED BY FOUR CORNERS TO THE GROUND” • THIS DESCRIPTION SOUNDS TO ME LIKE A TABLE CLOTH 29 • BEING LOWERED DOWN ONTO A TABLE • MAYBE GOD SHOWS PETER A VISION OF FOOD BEING LOWERED • ONTO A TABLE BECAUSE PETER IS INTENSELY HUNGRY • I AM SURE THIS GOT HIS ATTENTION 30 • WE WILL SEE THAT WHILE THIS VISION • FEATURES FOOD IT IS ABOUT MUCH MORE THAN JUST FOOD • ON THIS SHEET WERE • ALL KINDS OF FOUR-FOOTED ANIMALS AND CRAWLING CREATURES • OF THE EARTH AND BIRDS OF THE AIR. • THE KEY TO THIS IS IN THE WORDS “ALL KINDS” • TO THE JEWISH MIND THERE WERE REALLY TWO KINDS OF ANIMALS • CLEAN AND UNCLEAN, YOU COULD EAT THE CLEAN KIND 31 • YOU COULD NOT EAT THE UNCLEAN KIND • AND YET HERE BEFORE PETER • SPREAD OUT ON TABLE ARE ALL KINDS TOGETHER (PAUSE) • SOMETIMES GOD’S WILL IS VERY CLEAR TO US • WE ENCOUNTER SOME SITUATION 32 33 • AND WE KNOW RIGHT AWAY HOW GOD WANTS US TO RESPOND • OTHER TIMES GOD COMMUNICATES HIS WILL TO US • IN MYSTERIOUS WAYS THAT TAKE TIME FOR US TO COMPREHEND • MAYBE NOT AS MYSTERIOUS THIS VISION OF PETER’S 34 • HE MAY COMMUNICATE TO US THROUGH SOME PASSAGE OF SCRIPTURE • OR MAYBE IN WORDS SOMEONE HAS SPOKEN • I HAVE FELT GOD COMMUNICATE THROUGH WORDS IN A SONG • EVENTS THAT HAPPENED IN MY LIFE 35 • WHEN GOD COMMUNICATES IN MYSTERIOUS WAYS • WE HAVE TO BE PATIENT, LISTEN CAREFULLY • AND THEN WE NEED TO COMPARE WHAT WE THINK HE IS COMMUNICATING • WITH WHAT HE HAS SAID IN HIS WORD • IF OUR UNDERSTANDING OF HIS COMMUNICATION • LINES UP WITH SCRIPTURE THEN WE ARE ON TO SOMETHING • IF OUR UNDERSTANDING OF HIS COMMUNICATION 36 • DOES NOT LINE UP WITH WHAT HIS WORD SAYS WE NEED TO KEEP LOOKING • SOMETIMES HIS COMMUNICATION CONTAINS COMMANDS 37 Ntb TRUSTING GOD’S WILL • A VOICE CAME TO PETER IN THE VISION, IT SAID; • “GET UP, PETER, KILL AND EAT!” • THIS IS A COMMAND, IT IS NOT A SUGGESTION, IT IS A COMMAND • AND PETER RESPONDS VERY MUCH LIKE PETER ALWAYS DOES 38 39 • HE OBJECTS; ““BY NO MEANS, LORD” • IT SHOULD BE NOTED THAT PETER DOES USE • THE MOST POLITE WAY YOU COULD PHRASE YOUR OBJECTION • HIS OBJECTION TO CHRIST WASHING HIS FEET WAS NOT AS POLITE • PETER IS STILL OBJECTING TO GOD’S WILL BUT AT LEAST HE IS DOING IT POLITELY • HE EVEN PROVIDES A REASON FOR HIS OBJECTION • “FOR I HAVE NEVER EATEN ANYTHING UNHOLY AND UNCLEAN.” • PETER HAD BEEN RAISED FROM CHILDHOOD 40 • TO DISTINGUISH BETWEEN CLEAN AND UNCLEAN FOOD • HIS UPBRINGING IS GETTING IN THE WAY OF OBEDIENCE • THEN THE VOICE SPEAKS AGAIN, SAYING; 41 • “WHAT GOD HAS CLEANSED, NO LONGER CONSIDER UNHOLY.” • YOU WOULD THINK PETER MIGHT HAVE REMEMBERED WHAT JESUS HAD SAID; 42 MARK 7:18–19 43 AND HE SAID TO THEM, “ARE YOU SO LACKING IN UNDERSTANDING ALSO? DO YOU NOT UNDERSTAND THAT WHATEVER GOES INTO THE MAN FROM OUTSIDE CANNOT DEFILE HIM, 44 BECAUSE IT DOES NOT GO INTO HIS HEART, BUT INTO HIS STOMACH, AND IS ELIMINATED?” (THUS HE DECLARED ALL FOODS CLEAN.) 45 • BUT THIS VISION IS TALKING ABOUT FAR MORE THAN FOOD • THE PURPOSE OF THIS VISION WAS TO PREPARE PETER • TO GO AND SPEAK TO CORNELIUS • THE SAME LAWS THAT SAID SOME ANIMALS WERE UNCLEAN • ALSO SAID GENTILES WERE UNCLEAN • IF PETER REFUSES TO EAT WHAT GOD AS CLEANSED • WILL HE BE WILLING TO GO AND STAY WITH A GENTILE? • AND EAT WITH HIM, AND TELL HIM THE GOSPEL? 46 • TO MAKE SURE PETER GETS THE POINT THE VISION REPEATS • “THIS HAPPENED THREE TIMES, AND IMMEDIATELY THE OBJECT WAS TAKEN UP INTO THE SKY.” • SOME PEOPLE THINK THE CLOTH LOWERED THREE TIMES • BUT I THINK THIS IS TALKING ABOUT PETER REFUSING 47 48 • THREE TIMES AND THE VOICE TELLING HIM; • “WHAT GOD HAS CLEANSED, NO LONGER CONSIDER UNHOLY.” 3X • THERE IS SOME PRECEDENT TO PETER NEEDING 3 TIMES TO GET THE POINT • THREE TIMES HE DENIED CHRIST 49 • THREE TIMES CHRIST ASKED PETER IF HE LOVED HIM • WE ARE CHALLENGED BY GOD’S WILL (PAUSE) • WHEN IT GOES AGAINST WHAT THE WORLD SAYS IS RIGHT • WHEN IT GOES AGAINST HOW WE HAVE BEEN LIVING • WE NEED TO TRUST IN HIS WILL AND OBEY (PAUSE) • INSTANT OBEDIENCE IS THE ONLY KIND OF OBEDIENCE THERE IS • DELAYED OBEDIENCE IS DISOBEDIENCE 50 51 • WHOEVER TRIES TO DELAY IN OBEYING • DISOBEYS BY THEIR DELAY • SOMETIMES A DELAY COMES NOT FROM A LACK OF OBEDIENCE • BUT FROM A LACK OF UNDERSTANDING ACTS 10:17–20 52 NOW WHILE PETER WAS GREATLY PERPLEXED IN MIND AS TO WHAT THE VISION WHICH HE HAD SEEN MIGHT BE, BEHOLD, THE MEN WHO HAD BEEN SENT BY CORNELIUS, HAVING ASKED DIRECTIONS FOR SIMON’S HOUSE, APPEARED AT THE GATE; 53 AND CALLING OUT, THEY WERE ASKING WHETHER SIMON, WHO WAS ALSO CALLED PETER, WAS STAYING THERE. WHILE PETER WAS REFLECTING ON THE VISION, THE SPIRIT SAID TO HIM, 54 “BEHOLD, THREE MEN ARE LOOKING FOR YOU. “BUT GET UP, GO DOWNSTAIRS AND ACCOMPANY THEM WITHOUT MISGIVINGS, FOR I HAVE SENT THEM MYSELF.” 55 ntb SEEKING TO UNDERSTAND GOD’S WILL • LUKE MENTIONS THAT PETER WAS; “GREATLY PERPLEXED IN MIND” • HE WAS CONFUSED BY WHAT THE VISION MIGHT MEAN • THIS DOES NOT MEAN HE DID NOT UNDERSTAND • ABOUT THE FOOD, THAT WAS CLEAR ENOUGH 56 • PETER IS CONFUSED ABOUT, WHY THIS VISION AT THIS TIME? • HE IS WONDERING HOW HE SHOULD APPLY THIS CONCEPT • NOTICE THAT THE HOLY SPIRIT DOES NOT SAY, • ‘HERE IS THE EXPLANATION OF THE VISION YOU HAVE RECEIVED’ 57 • SOMETIMES GOD REVEALS THINGS THROUGH EVENTS • WE READ SOME PASSAGE OF SCRIPTURE • AND GOD HELPS US UNDERSTAND IT BY • THE EVENTS THAT UNFOLD AS WE STRUGGLE WITH THE SCRIPTURE 58 • I EXPERIENCED THIS AFTER READING A PASSAGE IN PROVERBS • AND ENCOUNTERING THE SITUATION IT WAS ADDRESSING THE VERY NEXT DAY • WE NEED TO KNOW IT IS OK TO BE PERPLEXED BY GOD’S WORD • THERE ARE SOME PERPLEXING THINGS IN THE BIBLE 59 • BUT WHEN WE ENCOUNTER THEM WE NEED TO DO WHAT PETER DID • HE STAYED FOCUSED ON WHAT GOD WAS COMMUNICATING TO HIM • HE THOUGHT ABOUT IT, AND THEN WHEN THE OPPORTUNITY CAME • HE YIELDED TO THE PROMPTING OF THE HOLY SPIRIT 60 ntb LOOK FOR INSIGHT INTO GOD’S WILL • GOD WAS NOT DONE WITH HELPING PETER UNDERSTAND THE VISION • IN HIS AMAZING PROVIDENCE HE ARRANGED FOR • THE MEN FROM CORNELIUS TO ARRIVE AT EXACTLY THIS TIME 61 • THEY HAD COME TO THE HOUSE AFTER ASKING FOR DIRECTIONS • DOES MEN STOPPING AND ASKING FOR DIRECTIONS QUALIFY AS A MIRACLE? • AND WHEN THEY GOT THE HOUSE THEY CALLED OUT • AND ASKED IF PETER WAS STAYING THERE 62 • INSTEAD OF JUST TELLING PETER THE PURPOSE OF THE VISION • GOD IS GOING TO USE THE TIMING OF THE ARRIVAL OF THESE MEN • TO HELP PETER UNDERSTAND THAT THE POINT OF THE VISION WAS NOT CLEAN OR UNCLEAN FOOD • BUT THE GOSPEL GOING TO THE GENTILES • BUT FOR PETER TO UNDERSTAND THIS • HE NEEDED TO GO DOWN AND MEET THESE MEN • AND THAT TOOK A LITTLE PROMPTING 63 64 ntb BE GUIDED BY THE HOLY SPIRIT • LUKE TELLS US THAT PETER; “WAS REFLECTING ON THE VISION” • THIS PHRASE COULD BE TRANSLATED THINKING ON IT OVER AND OVER 65 • THINKING ABOUT IT, WHAT IT MEANT, HOW HE SHOULD APPLY IT • HE HAD NOT GIVEN UP AND MOVED ON TO SOMETHING ELSE • HE WAS STRUGGLING TO UNDERSTAND AND THEN • THE SPIRIT SAID TO HIM, “BEHOLD, THREE MEN ARE LOOKING FOR YOU. 66 • THE FIRST WORDS SPOKEN WERE SAID TO COME FROM “A VOICE” • BUT HERE IT IS CLEARLY STATED THAT THIS IS THE SPIRIT TALKING • AND THE SPIRIT GIVES HIM AN INSTRUCTION; 67 • “GET UP, GO DOWNSTAIRS AND ACCOMPANY THEM WITHOUT MISGIVINGS” • AND THE SPIRIT TELLS PETER THE REASON HE SHOULD HAVE NO MISGIVINGS • “FOR I HAVE SENT THEM MYSELF.” 68 • THAT IS A PRETTY GOOD REASON TO NOT HAVE MISGIVINGS ABOUT SOMEONE • I WISH ALL PROMPTING BY THE HOLY SPIRIT WAS THIS CLEAR • SOMETIMES IT IS VERY CLEAR • HIS PROMPTING SEEMS TO BE CLEAREST TO ME AT 4:00AM 69 • I GUESS THE REST OF THE TIME I CAN’T HEAR HIM • OVER ALL THE OTHER NOISE GOING ON (PAUSE) • WE HAVE THIS AMAZING OPPORTUNITY TO BE GUIDED • TO BE DIRECTED BY GOD, THE HOLY SPIRIT • AND I THINK WE MISS OUT BECAUSE • WE DO NOT SPEND TIME LISTENING FOR HIS VOICE • SEEKING HIS GUIDANCE ACTING ON WHAT HE COMMANDS 70 71 ROMANS 8:14 FOR ALL WHO ARE BEING LED BY THE SPIRIT OF GOD, THESE ARE SONS OF GOD. • ELIZABETH ELLIOT THE MISSIONARY • WHOSE HUSBAND WAS KILLED ON MISSION IN CENTRAL AMERICA • TELLS OF TWO ADVENTURERS WHO STOPPED BY TO SEE HER, 72 • ALL LOADED WITH EQUIPMENT FOR THE RAIN FOREST EAST OF THE ANDES. • THEY SOUGHT NO ADVICE, JUST A FEW PHRASES TO CONVERSE WITH THE INDIANS. • SHE WRITES: "SOMETIMES WE COME TO GOD • AS THE TWO ADVENTURERS CAME TO ME – 73 • CONFIDENT AND, WE THINK, WELLINFORMED AND WELL EQUIPPED. • BUT HAS IT OCCURRED TO US THAT WITH ALL OUR • ACCUMULATION OF STUFF, SOMETHING IS MISSING? • SHE SUGGESTS THAT WE OFTEN ASK GOD FOR TOO LITTLE. • WE KNOW WHAT WE NEED--A YES OR NO ANSWER, PLEASE, TO A SIMPLE QUESTION. • OR PERHAPS A ROAD SIGN. • SOMETHING QUICK AND EASY TO POINT THE WAY. • WHAT WE REALLY OUGHT TO HAVE IS THE GUIDE HIMSELF. 74 75 • MAPS, ROAD SIGNS, A FEW USEFUL PHRASES ARE THINGS, • BUT INFINITELY BETTER IS SOMEONE WHO HAS • BEEN THERE BEFORE AND KNOWS THE WAY. • HE IS WITH US ALL THE TIME • IF WE WILL JUST TAKE THE TIME TO LISTEN • AND SEEK HIS GUIDANCE 76 ACTS 10:21–23 77 PETER WENT DOWN TO THE MEN AND SAID, “BEHOLD, I AM THE ONE YOU ARE LOOKING FOR; WHAT IS THE REASON FOR WHICH YOU HAVE COME?” THEY SAID, “CORNELIUS, A CENTURION, A RIGHTEOUS AND GOD-FEARING MAN 78 WELL SPOKEN OF BY THE ENTIRE NATION OF THE JEWS, WAS DIVINELY DIRECTED BY A HOLY ANGEL TO SEND FOR YOU TO COME TO HIS HOUSE AND HEAR A MESSAGE FROM YOU.” SO HE INVITED THEM IN AND GAVE THEM LODGING. 79 AND ON THE NEXT DAY HE GOT UP AND WENT AWAY WITH THEM, AND SOME OF THE BRETHREN FROM JOPPA ACCOMPANIED HIM. nt OBEY GOD FULLY 80 • THIS TIME PETER DOES NOT OBJECT • IT DOES NOT TAKE 3 TIMES, HE OBEYS RIGHT AWAY • AND HE OBEYS FULLY, HOLDING NOTHING BACK • HE TELLS THEM HE IS THE ONE THEY ARE LOOKING FOR • AND EVEN ASKS WHY THEY HAVE COME • THIS IS WHAT FULL OBEDIENCE LOOKS LIKE • I THINK SOMETIMES WE WANT TO OBEY • WE EVEN START TO OBEY, MAYBE EVEN WE OBEY RIGHT AWAY 81 • BUT WE STOP SHORT OF FULL OBEDIENCE • WE FORGIVE, BUT WE HOLD BACK ON LOVING THE ONE WE FORGAVE • WE DON’T ENVY OUR NEIGHBOR BUT WE GOSSIP ABOUT THEM • WE DON’T SLEEP AROUND BUT WE LOOK AROUND 82 • PARTIAL OBEDIENCE IS DISOBEDIENCE • PETER OBEYED IMMEDIATELY AND FULLY (PAUSE) • SOMETIMES WHEN WE HAVE THE INFORMATION • IT IS EASIER TO OBEY 83 KNOWING HELPS US OBEY 84 • PETER HAD ASKED THE REASON THEY HAVE COME • NOW THESE FELLAS COULD HAVE JUST SAID • “CORNELIUS SENT US TO BRING YOU BACK • BUT THEY DID SOMETHING VERY SMART HERE 85 • THEY GAVE PETER SOME INFORMATION • THAT HELPED HIM TO UNDERSTAND WHY HE SHOULD GO WITH THEM • THEY EXPLAINED THAT CORNELIUS WAS; • A CENTURION, HE HOLDS AN OFFICE IN THE ROMAN ARMY • HE IS A GENTILE • A RIGHTEOUS AND GOD-FEARING MAN • THIS TELLS PETER THAT CORNELIUS KNOWS AND WORSHIP GOD • WELL SPOKEN OF BY THE ENTIRE NATION OF THE JEWS, • THIS IS VERY HIGH PRAISE, THAT A ROMAN OFFICER 86 87 • WAS WELL SPOKEN OF BY THE PEOPLE HIS ARMY OCCUPIED • THEY SAY HE • WAS DIVINELY DIRECTED BY A HOLY ANGEL TO SEND FOR YOU TO COME TO HIS HOUSE • THIS WOULD BE VERY IMPORTANT TO PETER 88 • WHO HAD JUST RECEIVED A VISION FROM GOD • THIS PIECE OF INFORMATION WOULD HELP PETER • UNDERSTAND HIS OWN VISION AND HOW TO APPLY IT • THEY SAID CORNELIUS WAS TO HEAR A MESSAGE FROM YOU.” • I THINK RIGHT ABOUT HERE PETER STARTS TO UNDERSTAND • THE VISION HE HAD RECEIVED ABOUT THE CLEAN AND UNCLEAN FOOD • IT WAS NOT ABOUT FOOD IT WAS ABOUT TAKING THE GOSPEL • TO THE GENTILES • THE REASON I THINK THIS IS BECAUSE OF WHAT HE DOES NEXT 89 nt DO MORE THAN REQUIRED • SEE, PETER COULD HAVE SAID • “GREAT, YOU GUYS COME BACK TOMORROW AND WE WILL GO SEE CORNELIUS” 90 91 • BUT HE DOES NOT; “HE INVITED THEM IN AND GAVE THEM LODGING” • PART OF LODGING IS EATING, THIS MEANS PETER SAT DOWN • WITH GENTILES AND ATE A MEAL. THIS IS A BIG DEAL • NOW UNDERSTAND THE HOLY SPIRIT DID NOT TELL 92 • PETER TO INVITE THESE GUYS IN AND HAVE A MEAL WITH THEM • BUT PETER NOW UNDERSTANDS THE VISION MEANS • STOP TREATING THE GENTILES AS UNCLEAN • SO PETER DOES MORE THAN REQUIRED 93 • THE NEXT DAY HE CONTINUES TO DO MORE THAN REQUIRE • ALL THAT WAS REQUIRED WAS FOR PETER TO GO TO CORNELIUS • BUT; “SOME OF THE BRETHREN FROM JOPPA ACCOMPANIED HIM” 94 • AGAIN THIS IS GOING BEYOND THE MINIMUM NECESSARY • THIS IS HOW WE SHOULD BE OBEYING • RIGHT AWAY, FULLY, AND GOING BEYOND THE MINIMUM COLOSSIANS 3:23 95 WHATEVER YOU DO, DO YOUR WORK HEARTILY, AS FOR THE LORD RATHER THAN FOR MEN, • HEARTILY MEANS GIVING IT YOUR ALL • DOING MORE THAN THE MINIMUM 96 AN ELDERLY CARPENTER WAS READY TO RETIRE. • HE TOLD HIS CONTRACTOR OF HIS PLANS • TO LEAVE THE HOUSE-BUILDING BUSINESS • AND LIVE A MORE LEISURELY LIFE WITH HIS WIFE 97 • THE CONTRACTOR WAS SORRY TO SEE HIS GOOD WORKER GO • AND ASKED IF HE COULD BUILD JUST ONE MORE HOUSE AS A PERSONAL FAVOR. • THE CARPENTER AGREED, BUT IN TIME IT WAS EASY 98 • TO SEE THAT HIS HEART WAS NOT IN HIS WORK. • HE RESORTED TO SHODDY WORKMANSHIP AND USED INFERIOR MATERIALS. • IT WAS AN UNFORTUNATE WAY TO END HIS CAREER. • WHEN THE CARPENTER FINISHED HIS WORK • AND THE CONTRACTOR CAME TO INSPECT THE HOUSE, • HE HANDED THE FRONT-DOOR KEY TO THE CARPENTER. • “THIS IS YOUR HOUSE,” HE SAID, “MY GIFT TO YOU.” • WHAT A SHOCK! IF HE HAD ONLY KNOWN HE WAS BUILDING HIS OWN HOUSE, 99 • HE WOULD HAVE DONE IT ALL SO DIFFERENTLY. • NOW HE HAD TO LIVE IN THE HOME HE HAD BUILT WITH LESS THAN HIS BEST WORK. • WHEN WE OBEY GOD WE ARE BUILDING OUR OWN HOUSE IN HEAVEN 10 0 10 1 • WE REALLY SHOULD THINK ABOUT THAT AS WE OBEY AND SERVE GOD • ARE WE DOING OUR BEST WORK IN HOW WE OBEY • OR ARE WE DOING THE MINIMUM REQUIRED TO GET THE JOB DONE? SOMETIMES GOD CALLS US TO PUSH A BOULDER 10 2 • HE GIVES US SOME TASK AND WE GET FOCUSED ON THE RESULT • WE THINK WE HAVE SOMETHING THAT NEEDS TO BE ACHIEVED • BUT WHAT GOD REALLY WANTS IS OUR OBEDIENCE BY FAITH 10 3 • TO BE ABLE TO FAITHFULLY OBEY WE HAVE TO KNOW GOD’S WILL • AND THAT REQUIRES SEEKING IT • SEEKING IT IN HIS WORD, SEEKING IT BY PRAYER • BUT SEEKING HIS WILL DOES NOT HELP IF WE ARE NOT WILLING • TO LISTEN TO HIS WORD WHEN IT SPEAKS HIS WILL (PAUSE) • IT DOES US NO GOOD TO SEEK AND LISTEN • IF WE ARE JUST GOING TO OBJECT TO HIS WILL • BECAUSE IT DOES NOT FIT OUR LIFESTYLE 10 4 10 5 • WE HAVE TO TRUST GOD’S WILL EVEN WHEN IT GOES • AGAINST THE WAYS OF THE WORLD OR HOW WE WERE BROUGHT UP • WHEN WE HAVE SOUGHT AND FOUND GOD’S WILL IN HIS WORD • WE NEED TO BE READY TO OBEY WITHOUT DELAY, FULLY, ACCURATELY 10 6 • AND STRIVING TO GO BEYOND THE MINIMUM REQUIRED • WE ARE TO DO THIS BECAUSE WE SERVE THE LIVING GOD • THE CREATOR SUSTAINER OF THE UNIVERSE • WHO LOVES US SO MUCH THAT HE CAME AND DIED TO PAY FOR OUR SINS • IF THERE IS ANYONE HERE WHO HAS NOT TRUSTED IN THIS GOD WHO LOVES US… 10 7 108
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