Summary: How to put yourself in line to be visited by God with a refreshing new vision for your life!
Today we’re completing our series on Second Chances.
We’ve been digging deeper into the Word of God to find out more about how God’s character as a wonderful Heavenly Father who gives us a multitude of opportunities to live life to the fullest!
One of the big factors in taking advantage of God’s opportunities is perspective. We need to learn to see things from God’s perspective. We need to be open to receive refreshing visions from God.
Before I get to how this works, let me give you a few examples of how perspective can make all the difference in the world.
These amusements come from an email that some of you may have seen. It’s called, "The way children see things."
NUDITY: I was driving with my three young children one warm summer evening when a woman in the convertible ahead of us stood up and waved. She was stark naked! As I was reeling from the shock, I heard my 5-year-old shout from the back seat, "Mom! That lady isn’t wearing a seat belt!"
HONESTY: My son Zachary, 4, came screaming out of the bathroom to tell me he’d dropped his toothbrush in the toilet. So I fished it out and threw it in the garbage. Zachary stood there thinking for a moment, then ran to my bathroom and came out with my toothbrush. He held it up and said with a charming little smile, "We better throw this one out too then, ’cause it fell in the toilet a few days ago."
KETCHUP: A woman was trying hard to get the ketchup to come out of the jar. During her struggle the phone rang so she asked her 4-year-old daughter to answer the phone. "It’s the minister, Mommy," the child said to her mother. Then she added, "Mommy can’t come to the phone to talk to you right now. She’s hitting the bottle."
MORE NUDITY: A little boy got lost at the YMCA and found himself in the women’s locker room. When he was spotted, the room burst into shrieks, with ladies grabbing towels and running for cover. The little boy watched in amazement and then asked, "What’s the matter? Haven’t you ever seen a little boy before?"
ELDERLY: While working for an organization that delivers lunches to elderly shut-ins, I used to take my 4-year-old daughter on my afternoon rounds. The various appliances of old age, particularly the canes, walkers and wheelchairs, unfailingly intrigued her. One day I found her staring at a pair of false teeth soaking in a glass. As I braced myself for the inevitable barrage of questions, she merely turned and whispered, "The tooth fairy will never believe this!"
SCHOOL: A little girl had just finished her first week of school. "I’m just wasting my time," she said to her mother. "I can’t read, I can’t write, and they won’t let me talk."
BIBLE: A little boy opened the big family Bible. He was fascinated as he fingered through the old pages. Suddenly, something fell out of the Bible. He picked up the object and looked at it. What he saw was an old leaf that had been pressed in between the pages. "Mama, look what I found," the boy called out. "What have you got there dear?" With astonishment in the young boy’s voice, he answered, "I think it’s Adam’s underwear!"
Now I read all of those to impress upon you how life is largely a matter of perspective.
Our Scripture for today, Acts chapter 10 contains one of the most striking stories on perspective in the entire Bible. It tells of God working in the heart and life of a Roman army captain named Cornelius.
Cornelius was a great guy but he hadn’t yet heard the Good News about Jesus. He believed in God, gave generously to the poor and he even prayed regularly.
Then one day God sent an angel to tell him that his prayers had been heard and that he should send someone for a man named Simon Peter. God was going to use the great apostle to share the Good News with Cornelius and his family. God even told him exactly where to have his messengers look for Peter, at Simon the tanner’s house by the seaside in the city of Joppa.
While the messengers from Cornelius were going to get the apostle, God was simultaneously speaking to Peter in a vision in which he was told to eat food that Jews were normally not supposed to eat. At first Peter must have thought this was a test of his resolve to obey the rules, so he refused to eat the food. Then the Scripture says this:
Acts 10:15 (Amp) And the voice came to him again A SECOND TIME, "What God has cleansed and pronounced clean, do not you defile and profane by regarding and calling common and unhallowed or unclean."