Summary: Good news makes your day, doesn’t it? Well, I’ve got good news today. Actually, Paul has the good news but he will be sharing with us through these verses this morning.
Dance Lessons: Living for God
Chenoa Baptist Church
Pastor Jefferson M. Williams
Two weeks ago, on Sunday night, I sat on the bed with five tabs open on my laptop and for almost two hours I refreshed those tabs continuously - Twitter, NASCAR, TMZ, ESPN, and a couple of news sites. Why? Because I was waiting on news.
I am not a NASCAR fan and know very little about the drivers but when I watched this wreck, my heart sank. It was devastating. Then I saw this picture and I began to beg God to not let Ryan Newman be dead.
Minute after minute went by and no one had any news. This is often a very bad sign. On Twitter, someone mentioned that they didn’t cover the car, which could be a good sign. All we knew was he had been taking to a local hospital and reporters and fans had gathered outside the ER.
About 30 minutes after the wreck, someone on Twitter posted “RIP Ryan Newman, age 42.” But I knew that there had not been an official announcement yet so I didn’t put too much stock in that Tweet.
Every once in a while, Maxine would ask if I knew anything. I told her that it didn’t look good but no word yet.
There were rumors from pit row that Ryan was conscious and talking when they pulled him out of the car but those rumors couldn’t be confirmed.
So I refreshed and refreshed. I wasn’t the only one. Twitter was full of people looking for information and the hashtag #prayforRyan was trending.
Then NASCAR announced that they would be having a press conference. Someone said that this was eerily like when Dale Earnhardt, Sr. died. Another RIP post on Twitter appeared. But TMZ didn’t have an update so I continued to wait.
Almost two hours after the wreck, an official from NASCAR walked to the podium and made an announcement. I held my breath.
"He is in serious condition, but doctors have indicated his injuries are not life threatening."
Twitter exploded in joy and I woke Maxine up and told her the good news.
Two days later, Ryan left Halifax Medical Center with his daughters holding his hands.
It was a good news story. God had been merciful. The safety systems put in place after Dale Sr. died worked and saved his life. And those two little girls still had a daddy.
Good news makes your day, doesn’t it? Well, I’ve got good news today. Actually, Paul has the good news but he will be sharing with us through these verses this morning.
Last week, we studied the beginning of Paul’s confrontation of Peter in Antioch.
When Peter was staying at Antioch, his regular custom was to eat with his Gentile brothers and sisters. Peter had understood from his experience in Acts 10 that his revelation wasn’t just about food but also about the Gentiles. Jesus told him not to call anything unclean that He has cleansed:
“I now realize how true it is that God does not show favoritism but accepts from every nation the one who fears him and does what is right. You know the message God sent to the people of Israel, announcing the good news of peace through Jesus Christ, who is Lord of all.” (Acts 10:34-36)
Peter was enjoying table fellowship with his Gentile friends until the James gang showed up in Antioch. These were men who came from Jerusalem with the supposed authority of James that taught that the Gentiles in Antioch couldn’t be Christians until they had become Jews - circumcised, following dietary rules, and the Mosaic law.
They were powerful and intimidating. And Peter, when faced the with the choice of being courageous or a coward, took the cowards way out. He pulled back from eating with the Gentiles. They were hurt and confused.
And Paul was furious! He confronted Peter to his face in front of the whole assembly:
“When I saw that they were not acting in line with the truth of the gospel, I said to Cephas in front of them all, “You are a Jew, yet you live like a Gentile and not like a Jew. How is it, then, that you force Gentiles to follow Jewish customs?” (Gal 2:14)
I love the way Ralph Keiper paraphrased this verse:
“Peter, I smell ham on your breath. You forgot your Certs. There was a time when you wouldn’t have eaten ham as part of your hope of salvation. Then after you trusted Christ, it didn’t matter if you ate ham. But now when the non-ham eaters have come from Jerusalem you’ve gone back to your Kosher ways. But the smell of ham still lingers on your breath. ?You’re most inconsistent. You’re compelling Gentile believers to observe Jewish law, which can never justify anyone.”