Summary: How to honor God
Honoring God with Your next step
I want to tell you about 2 sons.
One was asked to do something by his father and He told him he would do it.
Another one was asked to do something as well and he went and did it.
Has each one honored his father, from what you know?
Now if I told you the one who said he would do what his father asked, ended up not doing it, would he still be someone who honored his father through hiss obedience?
So it is fair to say that action is more important than our words in bringing honor to someone if there is no truth in our words.
Ok, another scenario.
One father asked his son to bring in the garbage cans and he did.
Another father asks his son to come over and help him trim his bushes and he did..
Would you say that each one is someone who honors his father?
Now what if I told you that the son who was asked to come over and help the father trim his bushes did, but since that time 5 years ago, he won’t do anything to help his father out because he doesn’t have enough time to do the things he likes.
And the son who cut the lawn did that yesterday and is planning to help his dad out again next week.
Now who would you say is a son that is known to honor his father.
The one who has been doing it more recently and is planning to continue.
So it would be fair to say that those who are honoring to their parents in the present is more important in determining if this is an honoring person than someone who did something a long time ago.
Well in honoring God the same thing holds true.
We don’t honor God just by saying that we do, our actions need to show it.
And we can’t rely on our past to say that we are someone who honors God, our actions right now need to show it
And even more so, the next actions we take, our very next step, needs to show it.
This is what we are going to be talking about today and looking at one of my favorite stories of the Bible. This is about Cornelius, the Roman Centurion, found in Acts chapter 10 (p. 778)
We are going to see how He honored God not only in the past, but also with his next steps and try to discern how we might be a Cornelius and honor God with our next steps.
Turn with me to
Acts 10:1-7, 24-48
1 At Caesarea there was a man named Cornelius, a centurion in what was known as the Italian Regiment. 2 He and all his family were devout and God-fearing; he gave generously to those in need and prayed to God regularly. 3 One day at about three in the afternoon he had a vision. He distinctly saw an angel of God, who came to him and said, "Cornelius!"
4 Cornelius stared at him in fear. "What is it, Lord?" he asked.
The angel answered, "Your prayers and gifts to the poor have come up as a memorial offering before God. 5 Now send men to Joppa to bring back a man named Simon who is called Peter. 6 He is staying with Simon the tanner, whose house is by the sea."
7 When the angel who spoke to him had gone, Cornelius called two of his servants and a devout soldier who was one of his attendants. 8 He told them everything that had happened and sent them to Joppa.
They go and get Peter and Peter goes with them.
23b The next day Peter started out with them, and some of the brothers from Joppa went along. 24 The following day he arrived in Caesarea. Cornelius was expecting them and had called together his relatives and close friends. 25 As Peter entered the house, Cornelius met him and fell at his feet in reverence. 26 But Peter made him get up. "Stand up," he said, "I am only a man myself."
27 Talking with him, Peter went inside and found a large gathering of people. 28 He said to them: "You are well aware that it is against our law for a Jew to associate with a Gentile or visit him. But God has shown me that I should not call any man impure or unclean. 29 So when I was sent for, I came without raising any objection. May I ask why you sent for me?"
30 Cornelius answered: "Four days ago I was in my house praying at this hour, at three in the afternoon. Suddenly a man in shining clothes stood before me 31 and said, ’Cornelius, God has heard your prayer and remembered your gifts to the poor. 32 Send to Joppa for Simon who is called Peter. He is a guest in the home of Simon the tanner, who lives by the sea.’ 33 So I sent for you immediately, and it was good of you to come. Now we are all here in the presence of God to listen to everything the Lord has commanded you to tell us."