How to Act at the Table
A. Just for a little D.Y.K. (Did you Know)
B. Did you know that when Ice cream was invented the Quakers thought that it was sinful
C. According to them it had to be sinful. Nothing could taste that good a not be sinful!
D. That kind of sums up the perspective of a lot of Christians
E. If anything is fun it must be sinful
F. I think Peter was in that kind of rut.
G. God was trying to teach him a very important spiritual lesson through the dream we just heard about
H. But Peter was so set in his ways he didn’t want to the Word of God to interfere with his opinion
I. Ever had that problem?
J. We all have
K. Like Peter, I can be stubborn obstinate, and slow to listen
L. So here some handy help form the Bible for our problem
M. The problem of being exclusive with the Gospel instead of Inclusive
N. Today we are going to learn how to act at the Table
O. We are then going to take these tables manner and erase the excuses for being exclusive
P. The first manner we are going to look at is:
I. Eat What’s On Your Plate
1. Peter was up on the roof praying around noon
a) A good thing to do
2. While he was praying, he became hungry – That happens to me a lot
3. Peter then as the Bible says fell into a trance
4. And there was this huge sheet being let down from Heaven to Earth by the four corners
5. Boy this sheet must have looked Good
6. It could feed Peter for a long time
7. But as it got closer, Peter notice something – It was not Kosher
8. It had animals on it that were forbidden in Jewish culture
9. A voice told him to “Kill and eat”
10. You crazy? I have never even tasted anything unclean, yet alone kill and eat
11. Then the voice told him “do not call anything impure that God has made clean”
12. This happened three times
13. Peter was sitting there scratching his head trying to figure out the meaning of all of this
14. Then a couple of people came to the door, after being prompted by the Holy Spirit, Peter told them that he is the one they are looking for
15. What do we learn about how we should act at the table fro this portion of our passage?
16. If God puts it on our plate, eat it!
17. I mean, if God puts someone in your life
18. Like He was putting Cornelius in Peters life, then share the good news with them
19. How ironic it is, Peter thought He was being righteous when he said “No” to God?
20. We know that the Jews and the Gentiles did not get a long
21. But that down not mean they do not need to hear the Good news
22. You might be called to reach someone that is nothing like you, so?
23. Does that give you and excuse not to do it
24. Jew did not like the Gentiles, because they did not adhere to “their laws”,
25. Guess what, some of the people “On your plate” may not act like you may not think like you, may not look like you, and may not even vote like you
26. Does not matter
27. Those people in your life, need to hear the good news
28. Not that does and don’t of United State Church Going Standards
29. They need to hear there is one God
30. Who sent it Son, Jesus, on this Earth
31. Who died on the Cross, rose from the dead, defeating death
32. And not offers to take the punishment for our sins
33. Are you willing to accept that?
34. Watch this clip (show clip – Noting Hill – fruitarian)
35. Comically absurd
36. But I wonder how absurd we are sometimes when we make distinction about the people God want us to let on our plates?
II. Be Kind To the Guest
1. When Peter meant these guys he had a couple of choices
2. Choice number one – Threaten them – You get out of here right now or I am going to call the cops, or better yet, I am going to shoot you myself
3. Choice number 2 – The kind rejection – I am the man that you are looking for, But I am going to have to ask you to leave
a) For you see according to our Ceremonial law, I am not allowed to speak to you
b) Therefore “Goodbye and good day”
4. Choice number 3 – Embrace them – You know guys, if you would have come a day ago I would have reacted totally different, but because of what God has revealed to me, through a dream
5. I know now that I should not call any man impure or unclean
6. God made every person
7. God does not make mistakes
8. Therefore it would be a mistake to dismiss someone just because they are not a Jew
9. What can we learn about table manners from this?
10. I remember once having a conversation with someone and then inviting them to church
11. Oh I would love to come, right now I am broke, but I am working as soon as a I get some money I will buy some nice clothes to go to church
12. I cant believe that was his thought
13. He literally thought that he had to dress up in order to go to church
14. I did not let that excuse fly, I told him you come as you are
15. That is just the issue of clothes
16. There are plenty other reasons people don’t feel welcomed at churches
17. I have talk to many alcoholics who have told me when they “get right” then they will come to church
18. That is not the way it works, you come to church and then get right
19. How does God view a person? Obviously he loves them
20. That needs to be our attitude as well
21. There are something that I don’t do because of my relationship with Christ
22. There are something I do because of my relationship with Christ
23. These are the things that if people notice they would call me a “Christian”
24. However, these things do no make me a Christian and I don’t do these things to be a Christian
25. These are the things I do because of my relationship
26. We must be more concerned with peoples relationship with Christ then they outward appearances or actions
27. If someone does not have that relationship with Christ why should they have to act like they do?
28. Don’t be rude to the guest
III. Share The Food
1. So Peter is at Cornelius house
2. And Cornelius tells Peter everything that happened, and how he had a vision and the Vision said go find Peter
3. At this point Peter could have said “I hear you, May God bless you, I’m out of here”
4. But instead Peter, being led of the Holy Spirit, Begins to put the puzzle together
5. What Cornelius needed was to hear about Jesus
6. Of course this would have not happened had God not already laid it on Pete’s heart
7. So Peter began to do what no one else had ever done
8. Tell these “gentiles” about Christ
9. As he was telling Cornelius and all the people around Cornelius, friends, soldiers and everyone else that was there, they were listening intently
10. A lot of times I will be up hear sharing and seems like no one is paying any attention
11. Then there are those occasions when I have 80 eyes intently starting at me
12. This was one of those when everybody was paying attention
13. They were so hungry to hear the word
14. What can we learn about Table manners from this?
15. Do you remember what it felt like to be lost?
16. Before God found 6you?
17. Do you remember wondering stuff like “where did I come from?”
18. Why am I here?
19. Where am I going
20. Remember that, don’t forget that feeling
21. And every time you remember that hunger, think about those who are still hungry
22. It is not polite to hog the food
23. Share the food
24. There are people all around us who are starving spiritually
25. They long to hear the good news
26. The long to know the meaning of life, to answer the question “Why am I here?”
27. You want a good time to “share the food”
28. Well starting Saturday is the perfect time
29. That is the Kick off for 40 days of purpose
30. Invite those who are still starving to hear the Good news
31. Some people might not realize how hungry they are, but take the time to tell them
32. Take the time to share the food
33. To Share the good news
34. There are plenty of green invitation things in the back, start invited them
IV. Move Over and Make Room
1. As Peter is telling them the good news something happens that I don’t know if it has ever happened again
2. There was no singing of Just as I am
3. There was no alter call
4. Heck, Peter hadn’t even gotten to the conclusion of his sermon
5. And people began to respond
6. Now it is quite interesting to compare there response with that of the day of Pentecost
7. You realize they are really similar
8. What that tells us is that they received the Holy Spirit
a) Only true converts can receive that Holy Spirit
b) If they received the Holy Spirit, God gave it to them, meaning God is The God of the Gentiles too
9. Peter say this and way amazed
10. He realized that they were saved
11. So Peter thought throw it, and decided these were true converts, let go ahead and baptize them
12. What does this teach us about Table Manners
13. Man, move over and make some more room
14. Let them in
15. Let them be in a place where they can grow
16. “But they don’t look like us” …. So?
17. “They don’t talk like us”… So?
18. “They don’t think like us” … So?
19. All that stuff does not matter
20. The have been accepted by Christ
21. Since Christ is able to accept them, and able to accept you, you should accept them
22. Move over, let them in
23. I have thought about this a lot lately
24. It is good to set extra places at a table
25. That way if someone comes they will feel welcomed
26. Imagine if someone showed up for supper, you had no space, so you pull out a tray table, set up in the other corner of the room and told the guest to have fun
27. Would he feel welcomed?
28. Now if you had a place around the table (you made everybody scoot over some) and he was
A. I hope you have all learned some table manner today
B. What I even hope more, is that you take these manner and apply them to your lives
C. We can not control who God puts in our lives
D. Some of the people he puts in our life, admittedly will be a little strange, a little different
E. But that does not mean they don’t need food
F. That gives us no reason not to practice good table manners
G. So that bring us to the question of the day
H. Who is the Cornelius in your life?
I. Who is that person that God has strategically put in your life
J. Maybe you need to invite them to join us with 40 days of purpose
K. Maybe you need to just let them join you at the table
L. Remember your table manner’s
M. Now that we have looked back let us move forward