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Summary: E is for Opportunity -- Evangleism

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Who is outside the walls of the church

In this New Year we have been looking through the scriptures at ways that God reveals his direction, His will to us as individuals and as a church.

We have been using a memory device to guide our thinking. The big idea is that the prophets typically referred to hearing a word from God for the people.

That makes me think of the word VOICE.

God’s voice is rarely described as being something audible, God communicates through scripture, emotions, situations, visions and on occasion audible words.

- In our study on communication that guides and shapes us, we started with Jeremiah being sent to watch a potter at work. The letter V stood for vision. I lead you to understand that we are the clay in the picture and while it was imperfect the potter was willing to rework the clay into something useful.

- We talked about the necessity of being Open to God working around us as a way of communication.

Next we looked at scriptures related to God’s Incarnation or presence which ultimately is the gift of the Holy Spirit that actually lives within each believer.

-- God over time moved closer and closer to communicate with man.

Last week was a description of how God guides us based on the communities we are a part of. In this case I limited the community of being a faith community …the church. We examined how God can speak to us through 1 or many people in our church. How it is important to be an active and healthy member of the community because the relationship we have with each other is two way communication.

So as a review, we have

V – vision

O – openness

I – incarnation

C – community and today we have the final letter in the word.

E is for OPPORTUNITY.

No, that is not a spelling mistake although Renee suggested that it could happen.

What I am trying to avoid is keeping some of you from putting your brains in park and avoiding traveling through today’s mental and spiritual journey with me.

There are some days when the scripture or the sermon title have some of you taking off in a direction because you think that you already know where I am headed. I can accept that because at least you are engaged enough to look in the rear view mirror from time to time to see if we are still headed in the same direction.

But from there are times when I hit on a topic where some of you wait right there in the pew thinking about your chores and shopping list and just wait for me to get back. I feel like that you are so disinterested, afraid or complacent that you don’t want to risk spending any spiritual gas to see where the path leads.

-- So we will stick with the word opportunity for now.

Let’s read our scripture for this morning.

Acts 3:1-10

One day Peter and John were going up to the temple at the time of prayer—at three in the afternoon. Now a man crippled from birth was being carried to the temple gate called Beautiful, where he was put every day to beg from those going into the temple courts. When he saw Peter and John about to enter, he asked them for money.

Peter looked straight at him, as did John. Then Peter said, "Look at us!" So the man gave them his attention, expecting to get something from them.

Then Peter said, "Silver or gold I do not have, but what I have I give you. In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, walk." Taking him by the right hand, he helped him up, and instantly the man's feet and ankles became strong. He jumped to his feet and began to walk. Then he went with them into the temple courts, walking and jumping, and praising God. When all the people saw him walking and praising God, they recognized him as the same man who used to sit begging at the temple gate called Beautiful, and they were filled with wonder and amazement at what had happened to him.

In our scripture today, we have two disciples still in Jerusalem, and they are acting in a pretty normal way. They don’t seem frightened to be seen in public. It is the 9th hour, that is three in the afternoon and that means it is time for prayer at the temple.

Peter and John are just headed up to the temple, ... in scripture it is always described as going up to the temple….two reasons…the first is , when you are going to be in the presence of God you always go up.

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