Summary: steps to staying on God’s agenda for your life...
Staying on God’s Agenda
Acts Series: “Completely Irreligious, Yet Radically Christian” Part 18
May 18, 2003
GETTING THE CONTEXT…
Peter fairly exploded with his good news: “It’s God’s own truth, nothing could be plainer: God plays no favorites! It makes no difference who you are or where you’re from—if you want God and are ready to do as he says, the door is open. The Message he sent to the children of Israel—that through Jesus Christ everything is being put together again—well, he’s doing it everywhere, among everyone.
Acts 10:34-36 The Message
While Peter was still speaking these words, the Holy Spirit came on all who heard the message. The circumcised believers who had come with Peter were astonished that the gift of the Holy Spirit had been poured out even on the Gentiles. For they heard them speaking in tongues and praising God.
Then Peter said, "Can anyone keep these people from being baptized with water? They have received the Holy Spirit just as we have." So he ordered that they be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ. Then they asked Peter to stay with them for a few days.
The apostles and the brothers throughout Judea heard that the Gentiles also had received the word of God. So when Peter went up to Jerusalem, the circumcised believers criticized him and said, "You went into the house of uncircumcised men and ate with them."
Steps to Staying on God’s Agenda
1. Assume the best in God’s leaders.
So when Peter went up to Jerusalem, the circumcised believers criticized him… . Acts 11:2
The elders who direct the affairs of the church well are worthy of double honor, especially those whose work is preaching and teaching. For the Scripture says, "Do not muzzle the ox while it is treading out the grain," and "The worker deserves his wages." Do not entertain an accusation against an elder unless it is brought by two or three witnesses. 1 Timothy 5:17-19
2. Take a stand against the self-serving motivations within you.
“You went into the house of the uncircumcised men and ate with them.” Acts 11:3
3. Look for the evidence of God’s activity.
Peter began and explained everything to them precisely as it had happened… Acts 11:4
“As I began to speak, the Holy Spirit came on them as he had come on us at the beginning.” Acts 11:15
4. Look for agreement with what God has already revealed.
Then I remembered what the Lord had said: “John baptized with water, but you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit.”
5. When God makes his will clear, celebrate and act on it.
So if God gave them the same gift as he gave us, who believed in the Lord Jesus Christ, who was I to think that I could oppose God?"
When they heard this, they had no further objections and praised God, saying, "So then, God has granted even the Gentiles repentance unto life."
Scripture passages from the New International Version unless otherwise noted.
Home Church Discussion Guide: Staying on God’s Agenda (Acts 11:1-18)
1. Describe a time when you felt criticized for doing something right.
2. If you were Peter, how would you have responded to the criticism against him?
3. What can we learn from the way Peter responded to his critics?
4. What seemed to be the final convincing proof to Peter of God’s working in the Gentiles (vv. 15-17)? Why?
5. What kinds of evidence of do you look for to know that something is of God?
6. Do you find it sobering that you can find yourself or we could find our church in the position of opposing God?
7. Can you share an illustration from your own life of hearing God clearly and then celebrating and acting on what he showed you?
8. Is there something that God has clearly said to you through this discovery time that you are needing to act on?