Summary: Accepting Change is about trusting God

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Acts 10:27-48

Today Our topic is change. In general everything changes but there are parts of our lives that we like. Our homes, cars, restaurants that we want to never change.

I read a story about Henry Ford. It seems that Mr. Ford had a man working for him as production manager on the Model T. His name was William Knudsen and he became convinced that it was time to update the Model T, it has been in production for 4 years.

But there was a problem; Mr. Ford would not even consider the idea. Ford loved his creation just as it was and was opposed to any changes at all.

While Mr. Ford was away on a vacation in Europe, Knudsen decided to put together a car to demonstrate his ideas for changes using a new design and color.

Ford returned from a European vacation, and he went to a Highland Park, Michigan garage and saw the new design created by Knudsen.

On-the-scene mechanics later revealed how Ford responded.

They say that the car had four doors, and the top was down, painted gleaming red and built on a new, low version of the Model T.

One eyewitness tells how "Ford had his hands in his pockets, and he walked around that car 3 or 4 times…. Finally, he got to the left hand side of the car, and he takes his hands out, gets hold of the door, and bang! He ripped the door right off!… How the man done it, I don’t know! He jumped in there, and bang goes the other door. Bang goes the windshield. He jumps over the back seat and starts pounding on the top. He rips the top with the heel of his shoe. He wrecked the car as much as he could."

Knudsen left for General Motors. Henry Ford nursed along the Model T, but design changes in competitor’s models made it more old-fashioned than he would admit. Competition made it necessary to make changes and he grudgingly produced the model A, but his heart was never in it.

Henry Ford was one of the most creative men of his age. And yet… Henry Ford - resisted the obvious need for change.

I think it is generally true that most people don’t like change. Not everyone will become violent at the suggestion or even when forced to do things differently

Read someplace that the only people who DO like change are "wet babies" … and even they aren’t too excited about it. (PAUSE)

Churches are notorious for that kind of attitude as well. You’ll find many church boards and members saying things like

“we’ve never…………………………….done it that way before”

Someone once said that when it comes to change, the church is often like the snail riding on the back of a turtle

the church is often like the snail riding on the back of a turtle

…and do you know what a snail does when it rides on the back of the turtle?

It holds on tight and yells : "Whee!"

Many churches bulk at even the slightest change in their routine. Even when they’re fairly sure the changes would be something pleasing to God they still resist.

Now, things weren’t a whole lot different back in the days of the early church.

People back then didn’t like change anymore than people now do.

In our scripture today it is hard for us to imagine just how dramatic the changes described in the text are. We really don’t recognize how different our world is in comparison to the early church. We don’t even consider that what happened in our reading today did not become widely accepted until 50 or more years passed.

When Peter was invited to participate it was so big that the first half of the chapter describes how God prepared Peter. He gave him a vision that blew his mind. This big sheet comes down out of heaven and inside of it are all the unclean animals, the ones that every Jew learns from childhood are not to be eaten. And he also heard a voice, “Get up, Peter, Kill and eat.”

I think that you will recall that Peter is often a bit vocal and sometimes says things before he thinks them through. “No way God! I have never eaten anything unclean. “

God takes him through the vision and words 3 times. Peter knows whom he is speaking to and yet he argues with the Lord about change.

It seems that Peter would never have been open to visiting the home of the gentile Cornelius. I doubt he would have voluntarily agreed to make the trip with the messengers much less enter the home of a Gentile.

So Peter is holding on to his traditions of Clean and unclean from the Law of Moses. These same laws of clean and unclean apply to people as well.

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Frank Miller Sr

commented on Sep 29, 2017

We are anticipating going through some big changes at the church I pastor. Wanted to preach on that topic and found Tom's sermon on change. Just what I needed to hear! Great message! Thank you!!!

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