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We Serve a Sovereign Creator

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Do you believe in God? When we ask people if they believe in God we need to understand that the question may not looked at in the same way that you are looking at it. Their view of God may be entirely different from your view of God. Do you believe in a God who is singularly responsible for creating and holding together all of life? Do you believe in a God who desires to be intimately involved in your life? Do you believe in a God who has revealed himself to the world by taking on flesh and walking upon this earth as the proclaimed Savior? Do you believe in a God who became a man and died upon a cross as a sacrifice for the sin of of a sinful humanity? Do you believe in a God who answers prayer? Do you believe that God desires to answer your prayers? Do you believe that God is sovereign and will do that which will glorify his name and not necessarily what you think is in your best interests? Do you believe that God is holy, and just and righteous?
When we mention the sovereignty of God we have to understand that God is the creator and ultimately is in control of his creation. He sees the big picture.
In this chapter we are going to see the work of a sovereign God who is able to orchestrate events in a way that he is glorified, his obedient servants are sent, and willing hearts are exposed to the gospel.

We serve a sovereign creator who is actively, purposefully and lovingly involved in our lives

And it all begins with this:

(1) Our sovereign creator is actively listening to YOUR prayers ()

Acts 10:1–8 ESV
1 At Caesarea there was a man named Cornelius, a centurion of what was known as the Italian Cohort, 2 a devout man who feared God with all his household, gave alms generously to the people, and prayed continually to God. 3 About the ninth hour of the day he saw clearly in a vision an angel of God come in and say to him, “Cornelius.” 4 And he stared at him in terror and said, “What is it, Lord?” And he said to him, “Your prayers and your alms have ascended as a memorial before God. 5 And now send men to Joppa and bring one Simon who is called Peter. 6 He is lodging with one Simon, a tanner, whose house is by the sea.” 7 When the angel who spoke to him had departed, he called two of his servants and a devout soldier from among those who attended him, 8 and having related everything to them, he sent them to Joppa.
Our sovereign Creator prepares the heart of a sinner
Our sovereign Creator prepares the heart of a sinner
Cornelius the gentile and centurion (devout, a God fearer, generous, prayerful)
Cultural stereotypes and prejudices have always run deep. In Mark Twain’s novel The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, Tom is confronted by his friend Huckleberry Finn. Huck has just found out that he has not been invited to join Tom’s gang of friends.
Huck protests, “Now Tom, hain’t you always been friendly to me? You wouldn’t shet me out, would you, Tom?” Tom replies, “Huck, I wouldn’t want to, and I don’t want to—but what would people say? Why they’d say, ‘Mph! Tom Sawyer’s Gang! pretty low characters in it!’ They’d mean you, Huck. You wouldn’t like that, and I wouldn’t”
The same type of exclusion can happen in the church today and it had the potential to happen in the early church. Gentiles (non Jews) were hated, Romans even more, Roman soldiers even more.
But Cornelius was different. And since God is the creator of all people, all nations, all tribes he wants us to be different as well.
MacArthur, John. MacArthur New Testament Commentary (MacArthur New Testament Commentary Series) . Moody Publishers. Kindle Edition.
An angel of God
Simon the Tanner
A terrified response
A God who hears our prayers
A detailed command to obey - God does not deal in the mysterious, he makes clear his will
Simon the Tanner
A devout soldier

(2) Our sovereign creator is purposefully wanting YOU to LISTEN ()

Acts 10:9–23 ESV
9 The next day, as they were on their journey and approaching the city, Peter went up on the housetop about the sixth hour to pray. 10 And he became hungry and wanted something to eat, but while they were preparing it, he fell into a trance 11 and saw the heavens opened and something like a great sheet descending, being let down by its four corners upon the earth. 12 In it were all kinds of animals and reptiles and birds of the air. 13 And there came a voice to him: “Rise, Peter; kill and eat.” 14 But Peter said, “By no means, Lord; for I have never eaten anything that is common or unclean.” 15 And the voice came to him again a second time, “What God has made clean, do not call common.” 16 This happened three times, and the thing was taken up at once to heaven. 17 Now while Peter was inwardly perplexed as to what the vision that he had seen might mean, behold, the men who were sent by Cornelius, having made inquiry for Simon’s house, stood at the gate 18 and called out to ask whether Simon who was called Peter was lodging there. 19 And while Peter was pondering the vision, the Spirit said to him, “Behold, three men are looking for you. 20 Rise and go down and accompany them without hesitation, for I have sent them.” 21 And Peter went down to the men and said, “I am the one you are looking for. What is the reason for your coming?” 22 And they said, “Cornelius, a centurion, an upright and God-fearing man, who is well spoken of by the whole Jewish nation, was directed by a holy angel to send for you to come to his house and to hear what you have to say.” 23 So he invited them in to be his guests. The next day he rose and went away with them, and some of the brothers from Joppa accompanied him.
Our sovereign creator is preparing the hearts of his saints
Acts 10:9-23
A sovereign Savior is preparing the hearts of his saints
Our motivation to listen, to go and to do.
Matthew 28:19–20 ESV
19 Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”

(3) Our sovereign creator is lovingly building bridges to the lost ()

Acts 10:23–33 ESV
23 So he invited them in to be his guests. The next day he rose and went away with them, and some of the brothers from Joppa accompanied him. 24 And on the following day they entered Caesarea. Cornelius was expecting them and had called together his relatives and close friends. 25 When Peter entered, Cornelius met him and fell down at his feet and worshiped him. 26 But Peter lifted him up, saying, “Stand up; I too am a man.” 27 And as he talked with him, he went in and found many persons gathered. 28 And he said to them, “You yourselves know how unlawful it is for a Jew to associate with or to visit anyone of another nation, but God has shown me that I should not call any person common or unclean. 29 So when I was sent for, I came without objection. I ask then why you sent for me.” 30 And Cornelius said, “Four days ago, about this hour, I was praying in my house at the ninth hour, and behold, a man stood before me in bright clothing 31 and said, ‘Cornelius, your prayer has been heard and your alms have been remembered before God. 32 Send therefore to Joppa and ask for Simon who is called Peter. He is lodging in the house of Simon, a tanner, by the sea.’ 33 So I sent for you at once, and you have been kind enough to come. Now therefore we are all here in the presence of God to hear all that you have been commanded by the Lord.”
There are bridges to be built, there are bridges being built. Will you cross that bridge? Will you build that bridge?
I am just a man - have we forgotten what it means to be without Christ?

(4) Our sovereign creator wants us to be actively, purposefully, and lovingly sharing the gospel ()

Acts 10:34–43 ESV
34 So Peter opened his mouth and said: “Truly I understand that God shows no partiality, 35 but in every nation anyone who fears him and does what is right is acceptable to him. 36 As for the word that he sent to Israel, preaching good news of peace through Jesus Christ (he is Lord of all), 37 you yourselves know what happened throughout all Judea, beginning from Galilee after the baptism that John proclaimed: 38 how God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with power. He went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil, for God was with him. 39 And we are witnesses of all that he did both in the country of the Jews and in Jerusalem. They put him to death by hanging him on a tree, 40 but God raised him on the third day and made him to appear, 41 not to all the people but to us who had been chosen by God as witnesses, who ate and drank with him after he rose from the dead. 42 And he commanded us to preach to the people and to testify that he is the one appointed by God to be judge of the living and the dead. 43 To him all the prophets bear witness that everyone who believes in him receives forgiveness of sins through his name.”
Acts 10:
God shows no partiality
in every nation anyone who fears him (is america a Christian nation?)
good news of peace
Lord of all - sovereign
This is the gospel!!! Lord of all. raised from the dead, judge of the living and the dead.

(5) Our sovereign creator is powerfully involved in the lives of all who believe that Jesus is their resurrected Lord and Judge ()

Acts 10:
Acts 10:44–48 ESV
44 While Peter was still saying these things, the Holy Spirit fell on all who heard the word. 45 And the believers from among the circumcised who had come with Peter were amazed, because the gift of the Holy Spirit was poured out even on the Gentiles. 46 For they were hearing them speaking in tongues and extolling God. Then Peter declared, 47 “Can anyone withhold water for baptizing these people, who have received the Holy Spirit just as we have?” 48 And he commanded them to be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ. Then they asked him to remain for some days.

We serve a sovereign creator who is actively, purposefully and lovingly involved in our lives

Because we serve a sovereign creator we need to be asking ourselves how we can be:
actively involved in the lives of those around us
purposefully seeking to live for Christ in the lives of those around us
lovingly sharing the gospel with those around us
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