Summary: The fifth message in a series looking at what keeps us from really dreaming great things for God.
Please Note: This message is a two part message within the series. If you are viewign this one, please look for part 2 under the same name to get the "rest of the story" Thanks!
REMOVING OUR RELATIONAL ROADBLOCKS
OPENING ILLUSTRATION: One of the most vivid memories I have of our recent trip to Belle Glade Florida is the pronounced prejudice there. When I think of prejudice, I naturally think along racial lines, that one race is prejudice against another race. In Belle Glade though it goes beyond this level to a completely new level. I saw evidence of racial prejudice, EVEN in the churches there, between those who claim to be together in the body of Christ. I also saw evidence of racial prejudice relative to the degree of color of ones skin. Darker skin blacks against lighter skinned blacks. Lighter skinned blacks against red skinned blacks. And universally all blacks against Haitian blacks. Someone told me the worst name you could be called there in Belle Glade was a Haitian. I noticed Haitians traveling to the stores in groups, whereas others going to the same stores in pairs. I saw the pastor of the Haitian church there sternly decline my suggestion that we send some of the teens to the other ministry sight for basketball.
As we look at the ways we extend our dreams, we need to deal with the issue of our own personal roadblocks in this area of relationship. Yet, we have two areas where roadblocks in our relationships can crop up; There are roadblocks that affect my relationship to those needing Christ, and there are roadblocks that affect my relationship to those in the body of Christ. The first we deal with today, and the second next Sunday.
We need to see what the Bible has to say about this area of prejudice and relational roadblocks.
I JESUS MADE REMOVING RELATIONAL ROADBLOCKS A PRIORITY – LUKE 9 AND 10
A THE PLIGHT OF THE SAMARITANS
1 Considered racially inferior
2 Considered to be a lower class of people
3 Thought to be unable to understand God’s truth
4 Possessed a reciprocal attitude towards the Jews
B THE CONTRAST OF JESUS
Luke 9:52-55 And he sent messengers on ahead, who went into a Samaritan village to get things ready for him; 53but the people there did not welcome him, because he was heading for Jerusalem. 54When the disciples James and John saw this, they asked, "Lord, do you want us to call fire down from heaven to destroy them?" 55But Jesus turned and rebuked them,
1 Jesus shows his desire to save lives, not reject people
2 Jesus sees value and worth in the Samaritans
3 Jesus’ stunning conclusions
a Jesus does not rebuke the Samaritans
b Jesus does rebuke the disciples
c Luke 10:29-37 – Jesus makes a Samaritan the hero of the parable
d John 4:39-41 – Jesus leads a Samaritan woman to new life and breaks several customs and cultural barriers to do it!
II JESUS MADE REMOVING RELATIONAL ROADBLOCKS A COMMAND – ACTS 10 AND 11
Acts 10:9-16 About noon the following day as they were on their journey and approaching the city, Peter went up on the roof to pray. 10He became hungry and wanted something to eat, and while the meal was being prepared, he fell into a trance. 11He saw heaven opened and something like a large sheet being let down to earth by its four corners. 12It contained all kinds of four-footed animals, as well as reptiles of the earth and birds of the air. 13Then a voice told him, "Get up, Peter. Kill and eat."
14"Surely not, Lord!" Peter replied. "I have never eaten anything impure or unclean."
15The voice spoke to him a second time, "Do not call anything impure that God has made clean."
16This happened three times, and immediately the sheet was taken back to heaven.
A God is teaching Peter about relationships
1 Getting past prejudice is an important lesson – gave the lesson three times
2 Getting past prejudice is a hard lesson – gave the lesson three times
Acts 10:19-20 While Peter was still thinking about the vision, the Spirit said to him, "Simon, three men are looking for you. 20So get up and go downstairs. Do not hesitate to go with them, for I have sent them."
B God expects us to act on what He has taught us3
Acts 11:1-3 The apostles and the brothers throughout Judea heard that the Gentiles also had received the word of God. 2So when Peter went up to Jerusalem, the circumcised believers criticized him 3and said, "You went into the house of uncircumcised men and ate with them."
Acts 11:18 When they heard this, they had no further objections and praised God, saying, "So then, God has granted even the Gentiles repentance unto life."