Summary: Waiting for God, Realizing God's Plan, Participating in His Power
Road Trip #6 – Stop Sign
Acts 2:22-24, 32-41 (p. 759) August 17, 2014
It’s an octagon because scientists say this is one of the most attention getting shapes. (I think a donut shape or a drumstick shape is more attention getting).
It’s red because that is the most attention getting color. It’s big and simple. Just 4 letter in white S.T.O.P. Stop!
[I remember working one summer at bluegrass Christian Camp. I didn’t make it home for about a month and when I came home I took the same roads I always did. As I came down Clays Mill Road I breasted a hill...gas pedal down. It was raining, so I was at least being a little cautious in my pickup truck. And after I crested the hill I encountered a brand new stop sign where before it had been a straight through street...now it was a 4 way stop.
I slammed on the brakes...slid sideways through the intersection and came to rest parallel parked on the other side of the street, facing the opposite direction. I got out looked at that sign as if it were a space alien, looked around. There was no one there. And then I got down on my knees to thank God for sparing my life and someone else’s.
That stop sign came out of the blue. It got my attention when I was least expecting it.]
On this Road Trip we call life. God in His amazing grace sometimes does that with us spiritually.
Before we deal with that truth I wanted to share with you real quotes recorded by the Eagle Insurance group immediately after an accident took place:
[“Coming home I drove into the wrong house and collided with a tree I do not have.”
“I pulled away from the side of the road, glanced at my mother in law and then drove over the embankment.”
“In an attempt to kill a fly I drove into a telephone pole.”
“I pulled to the side of the road and realized there was smoke coming from under my hood. I realized there was an engine fire, so I took my dog and smothered it with a blanket.”
(MY FAVORITE) The claimant had collided with a cow. When asked what warning he gave his answer was: A horn...when asked about warning that was provided by the other party? His answer: A moo.
The final one I’ll share: “As I approached an intersection a stop sign appeared in a place where no stop sign had ever appeared before!”]
In our text in Acts Chapter 2 God is miraculously putting up a spiritual stop sign where none had ever appeared before.
Let’s look at some history before this day in Acts 2. How we got to this place on the Road Trip?
I. THE DISCIPLES STOP AND WAIT FOR GOD’S SPIRIT
The Apostle Paul lists the Lord’s appearances after the resurrection in 1 Corinthians 15. He says, “He appeared to Peter, then the 12, after that more than 500 brothers...then James and all the apostles...and last of all to me also, one abnormally born.” (v. 5-7)
Jesus appears to the disciples and others for 40 days after His resurrection. In fact on the 3rd time He appears to His disciples He reinstates Peter...restores him.
They are fishing...just as they’d been 3+ years earlier when He called them. And just like then they’ve caught nothing. Once again He tells them to put their nets into deep water. So they do. They catch so many fish the net begins to tear. 153...He tells them to get some fish and have breakfast. And then he has an intimate conversation with Peter.
JOHN 21:15-17 (p. 757)
Jesus asks...“Peter do you love me.”
Peter responds, “Lord you know everything...you know I love you.”
Not 1 time, or 2 times, but 3 times...1 for each denial. Coincidence, I think not.
There’s a lot I could say about this discussion and restoration. How Jesus uses the word for love “agape” (God’s love). And how peter responds to the first 2 “do you love me’s?” with “Lord (Phileo) you know I love you...using the word Phileo basically, “Lord You’re my best friend.”
But Jesus knew...just like the emotions that said “Lord I’ll die for you...even if the others deny you I never will.” That emotional “friendship,” wasn’t enough. Only a different type of love will keep you faithful even when you don’t “feel” like it. “Agape” love that loves no matter what you feel.
Peter hears that truth...It hurts him according to John. And he finally responds...“Lord I love you (Agape). And Jesus says if that’s true “Take care of my sheep, love them.”
None of us can love and take care of other people with just the power of friendship. I can like my “small circle” of friends...but I cannot open my heart to others like God does.