Summary: In Acts 10 - God loves to challenge our thinking, He confronts our "box thinking" and He leads us to new doors of opportunity and transformation.
Scripture: Acts 10:44-48
Acts 10:44-48English Standard Version (ESV)
The Holy Spirit Falls on the Gentiles
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.
Our Dancing God - Or God at the Improv
1. God loves to challenge our way of thinking
2. God confronts our "Box Thinking"
3. God Opens New Doors - If we are Ready to Receive and Rejoice
Good morning! This morning, I want to start by asking you some simple questions. Do you know what Michael Jordan, Robin Williams and J. S. Bach all have in common? What about Michael Jackson, Robin Williams and Louis Armstrong?
While they do have more in common than we might think, one of the things that each of them was simply a genius at was improvisation [im-prov-uh-zey-shuh n]. Whether it was with a basketball, an orchestra score, the ability to act or dance, each of the above were able to quickly adapt to their audience and to what was going on at the time.
Remember the little show Mork and Mindy (1978 - 1982) which starred Pam Dauber and Robin Williams. Writers of that show would leave certain sections of the script blank so that Robin could ad lib. He was a master at improv acting. He could do better comedy on the fly than most of the writers could do it sitting down together planning it.
The same was true for Jordan. While his coach Phil Jackson (Chicago Bulls) definitely drew up plans for Jordan and the team, the wonder of Jordan was watching his creativity. He was able to create basketball magic. At times it did look like he knew how to fly.
This morning how good are you improv. How good are you at composing, talking or working on the fly? How good are you at brainstorming or do something off the top of your head? Are you able to spontaneously adjust to a certain audience or situation? Or are you better at going by a script? Making a list and doing your best not to delineate from that script or list?
Or course some people are a lot better at improv than others. Some people seem to have a "jazz" beat down in the deepest parts of their soul. Others live better having a daily game plan, with a premeditated lists of what they are going to do that day.
We need both types in our world today. We need the planners and those that can just wing it. We need both well thought out designers and those that can formulate right on the spot. In fact, any great organization has plenty of both. And if you and I are going to be successful in this life we need to be a little of both. We need the ability to both plan and to improvise in this life.
This morning our passage shows that God loves to both plan and improv. From Heaven God is implementing this grand plan of global evangelism. He is moving His Church to understand the vastness of mercy and grace. And at the same time He is encouraging his disciples to improvise their way of thinking on the fly. To be able to move with the HOLY SPIRIT as one moves with a partner in dance. And it is in this dance with God that we see some deep spiritual truths that we need to both enjoy and receive with thanksgiving.
1. FOR GOD LOVES TO CHALLENGE THE VERY WAY WE THINK - verse 44
44 While Peter was still saying these things, the Holy Spirit fell on all who heard the word.
Actually we have to go back and read all of Acts 10 to get the total back fill of what is taking place here in verse 44. So, let's back up and give a quick overview.
Acts 10 starts off with Luke introducing us to Cornelius. Almost immediately we know something is up for Cornelius is not a Hebrew name. It is not even Aramaic. It is through and through Roman name and Cornelius is through and through a Roman.
And then we are hit with the second big item, Cornelius is not just a Roman, he is over a regiment of Roman soldiers. What? First, he is a Roman and then a soldier and not just any soldier but one that has some rank in the military. He is a commander of soldiers.