Summary: verse by verse through Acts

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Open the eyes of my heart Lord, I want to see you; I want to see you. Do we really mean the words of that song? Do we really want to see God? Do we really want to see Him for who He is, and what He expects and what He’s doing? Do we really want to see God?

I’m convinced that one of the major problems of the church in America today is that we really don’t want to see God for who He is. We’ve created God in our own image and that’s what we really want to see. We’ve put God in this little box of our own church experience and our own preference and we think we’ve got Him all figured out! We see God as we want to see Him and limit Him to our own myopic point of view.

[Box demonstration; (not the Bible).]

In the process all we’ve really done is create a religion that now gets in the way of our relationship with the Creator of the universe. That’s why you see so many people who’s faith has gotten old and cold over the years. People’s who’s faith doesn’t make a consistent difference in their daily life any more. People’s who’s faith doesn’t move them to make a difference in this world. People who don’t see God for who He really is because they’re God is all boxed up.

It’s time for the church in America to start [2] believing outside the box again to be able to see God for who He is, and what He expects and what He’s doing in the world. It’s time to stop painting a picture of God that suits our own personal agendas. Open the eyes of my heart Lord, I need to see you!

Last week we saw how the apostle Peter believed outside the box when he realized that the salvation of the Lord is the same for all - whether a person was a Jew or a gentile. This was a new concept for him but he saw the evidence for himself as the member’s of Cornelius’ house were saved just like his fellow Jews were saved.

The news of this glorious event traveled fast to the mother church in Jerusalem so Peter set out to let his fellow Jewish Christians know exactly what had happened. But as we’re going to see he was met with some [3] resistance to God’s works amongst the gentiles. Resistance from those who wouldn’t believe outside the box.

[Read Acts 11:1-3.]

These Jewish Christians were upset! Peter had done the unthinkable and had fellowshipped with non-Jewish people! They just didn’t understand that God’s plan for the world included the gentiles as well as the Jews.

You see, all throughout history God made a way for non-Jewish people to come to Him. Faith in God has always been the avenue to God. But when gentiles would place their faith in God they would also identify themselves with God’s people the Jews. This was done through practicing the Jewish traditions and laws.

But it seems that some of these Jewish Christians still didn’t understand that God’s plan for the world was for the world, not just the Jews! They probably only remembered some of what Jesus taught instead of all of what He taught.

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