Summary: We must take what we learn and what we say in church to let people know that this is not just for us, but others. Others should believe in God based on what we do, not what we say.
It’s Not Just for Us
Acts 11:1-9 and 18 NRSV
This is the Word of the Lord. Thanks be to God. Let us pray.
When I listen to people read the mission and vision statement at church, I often times wonder…do they really believe in the mission and vision statement that they recite every Sunday. Well, I do, and I’ve done all that I can to live by that mission and vision statement even though many of the times, it wasn’t at this church, but through out the community all over here and all over the state. This is a good mission and vision statement. But if we had to really look at what we’ve done as a church, what has we done to fulfill our role in the Great Commission of Jesus Christ?
Christ mandated that we do this, and we are placing this same mandate on ourselves. But if someone had to grade us on our work, which we do, what would our grades be?
I know this guy really well. His name is Dr. Terry Esper. He’s a Christian economics and professor with tenor at the University of Tennessee. He’s a graduate of Philander Smith College with his degree in Math. He got an MBA from the University of Arkansas and his PhD in economics from the University of Arkansas as well. This cat goes all over the world advising people…companies and governments on how to operate in the black. He’s married to my line sister, and he’s my friend on face book. He's my brother.
One day I was reading his status and I told him that I was gonna have to use that in my next sermon. He said this, “I have a vision and now a platform and a ministry. Even if I don’t want to go… I’ve got to. It’s not a chore… It’s not even a burden… It’s worship. Let’s push beyond our flesh and what we have and do what we have been mandated to do.”
He was talking about having a healthy life, but the same principle applies to us when it comes to our own spiritual health. The best way to get closer to God is through prayer, worship, reading the word, and most importantly doing the word.
Luke 10:27 says to love God and others. We have been commissions to go out in this way of live teaching everyone that we meet about the ways of Christ.
See Peter had a platform, but it wasn’t what God had in mind. Peter said that I’m not gonna touch or eat anything that was considered unclean before the sight of God. God was using that vision as a metaphor. God was showing Peter that his salvation wasn’t just for the Jews, but it’s for all people. Peter didn’t get it the first time, so God had to show him the vision a few more times, just like God gotta do with us, and God finally told Peter, that when these guys from Caesarea come looking for you go with him because I got someone that I want you to talk to.
Now this somebody was Cornelius, he was an officer in the Italian army. He seem to be a man of some wealth because he had servants and officers at the house, and he was always giving money to the Jews. He was a God fearing man. He made sure the members of his house hold were God fearing. He prayed everyday.