Summary: Experiencing freedom in Jesus by gaining a proper perspective, Acquiring a surrendered attitude and taking a step of faith.
October 29 Unleash the Freedom (Acts 10)
You probably already know how they train elephants, right? Any professional elephant trainers amongst us? Well, let me tell you then. When the elephant is a baby, they let it out of the cage and tie a rope around its neck. And of course the elephant tries to just walk off, but it can’t take but a step or two cause the rope is tied to something immovable. They do this continuously until one day, they tie the rope around the head of the elephant but they don’t tie it to the immovable object. Guess what happens? The elephant feels the rope, its past experience tells them that they can’t move more than a step or two, so they don’t. They’ll stand there all day able to move and walk anywhere they want, but because there’s a rope around their neck, they stay put.
Turn to Acts 10, Page 38 in your Unleashed book (words on backdrop of a pic of the book). I hope you have your book and have been praying through it. Continue to bring it, take notes, review the notes, and listen for the Spirit of God to speak to you.
Because this is a critical time in the life of our church. God has given us a big vision to reach our community and the world for Him.
Unleashed is a two year generosity initiative that will enable us to cooperate with God to make a greater impact for Him and push back the darkness faster and better. We’re asking each of you, whether you’ve come a long while or just got here; whether you come a little or a lot, to sincerely ask God one question: “Lord, what is YOUR role for me in Unleashed?”
What if every person who called Rush Creek home had a life-altering encounter with our amazing God that elevated their surrender and faith and generosity to a new level? It would change each of us, and change our church for generations to come.
So our Primary Goal: 100% Engagement. That’s each of us, that’s all of us going on a prayer journey to be fully engaged in this great opportunity God has given us. I have been sooo encouraged by your FB comments, your emails, your conversations in the commons telling me how glad you are to be a part of a church with a God-sized vision and how excited you are to see what God will do as a result of our generosity.
We want to push back the darkness faster and better. To do that, we need to take our ongoing ministries here to a new level. We call that Unleashing the Power (build). We need to expand our footprint through mergers with existing churches that are struggling to keep the doors open and planting campuses in neighborhoods where new houses are being built. We call that Unleashing the Potential. And we need to increase our investment in missions including sending families out of this church to the hard places in the world to scratch out a toe-hold for the gospel. We call that Unleashing the People.
To do this, everyone’s generosity needs to go to the next level, whatever that is. Some of you are not regular in your giving; you need to schedule it like you do all of your other obligations and investments. Those of you who are already regular but not tithing, your next level is to tithe on the income that you get. Nothing is more biblical; nothing is more satisfying than giving God the first fruits of the abundance He’s given you. And those of you who are tithers, your next level is dying to your need to feel comfortable and secure. Financial security is an empty, unattainable goal. Many, many of you should be giving 15-20-25%. For the sake of the gospel. We can do this. We must do this.
Now this morning we continue our examination of the very 1st church.
They were encountering some problems. We saw last week that they were encountering resistance to the gospel. But there was something more insidious getting in the way of the gospel: and that was their limited perspective. Like the elephant I mentioned at the beginning, they had been tethered to a perspective that kept the gospel from being unhindered and unleashed. Listen, the following statement is as true as anything else I’m going to say this morning: The power of the gospel is often hindered and leashed because of our limited perspective.
Acts 10 has 48 verses in it so I’m not going to read the whole thing. But I do want to summarize the story and then make some important points for us to consider.
Scene 1: A man by the name of Cornelius was a commander over 100 Roman soldiers; that gave him the rank called centurion. He was posted at Caesarea by the Sea, a place when you go to Israel you visit. He was not Jewish, but he was seeking after God. And he had a vision where God told him to send somebody to Joppa about 50 miles away.