Summary: God works to: 1. enlighten us about what matters (vs. 1-3). 2. encourage our trust in Him (vs. 4-12). 3. enlist our witness for Him (vs. 12-15). 4. establish a life-changing relationship with Him (vs. 16-18).
God Is at Work in Our World!
Sermon by Rick Crandall
Grayson Baptist Church - March 9, 2014
*Have you ever seen the Hand of God at work in your life? Most of us can say "absolutely yes!" And I hope you can too. God wants us to see His Hand at work in our world, and in today's Scripture, He shows us four reasons why.
1. First: God works to enlighten us about what matters.
*It is crucial for us to keep focused on the things that really matter in life. But sometimes we get distracted. Sometimes we drift away, and God wants to draw us back to the things that matter.
*Think about what happened in Acts chapter 10. God sent an angel to speak to a Roman Centurion named Cornelius. And starting in Acts 10:4, the angel said this to Cornelius:
4. . . "Your prayers and your alms have come up for a memorial before God.
5. Now send men to Joppa, and send for Simon whose surname is Peter.
6. He is lodging with Simon, a tanner, whose house is by the sea. He will tell you what you must do.''
*Just before those men got to the house where Peter was staying, God gave Peter a vision to help him understand that the Gospel is not just for the Jews. The Gospel is for all peoples! So Peter went to Cornelius' house and preached the truth about Jesus to the people gathered there.
*The heart of the Gospel is found in Acts 10:36-43, where Peter said:
36. "The word which God sent to the children of Israel, preaching peace through Jesus Christ He is Lord of all
37. that word you know, which was proclaimed throughout all Judea, and began from Galilee after the baptism which John preached:
38. how God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with power, who 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 things which He did both in the land of the Jews and in Jerusalem, whom they killed by hanging on a tree.
40. Him God raised up on the third day, and showed Him openly,
41. not to all the people, but to witnesses chosen before by God, even to us who ate and drank with Him after He arose from the dead.
42. And He commanded us to preach to the people, and to testify that it is He who was ordained by God to be Judge of the living and the dead.
43. To Him all the prophets witness that, through His name, whoever believes in Him will receive remission of sins.''
*The Gentiles there in Cornelius' house trusted in Jesus Christ, and the Holy Spirit fell on them, just as He did on the day of Pentecost. That was proof enough for Peter to recognize that they had been saved, and in Acts 10:48 he commanded for them to be baptized.
*Peter had a miraculous testimony to share when he got back to Jerusalem. It was the story of God's amazing grace, not just for the Jews, but for everyone who would receive Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior. That's what mattered the most, because that's what mattered to God!
*Unfortunately, some of the Jewish believers in Jerusalem wouldn't let go of the Old Testament prohibitions against the Gentiles. And they were angry with Peter when he returned to Jerusalem.