Summary: Why Actions Speak Louder Than Words - Acts 10:17-33
Why Actions Speak Louder than Words - Acts 10:17-33
1. Few people realize how important it is to love not just in word, but in deed and in truth.
Illustration: Research experts tell us we communicate only 7% with our words, 35% with our tone of voice and 58% with our actions.
Peter knew that it was easy to say the right things but difficult to live them out - especially with a visit to the house of a Gentile - Roman centurion. Peter’s visit to the house of Cornelius communicated more than a thousand sermons and with much greater effects.
The apostle’s visit to the house of Cornelius sent ripples of acceptance, love and spiritual empowerment to most of the Gentile world.
Peter’s presence meant that the truth of the gospel was about to overcome difficult social, political and religious barriers. According to Jewish law, Peter was prohibited from entering in to a home of a Gentile. Peter’s visit took great courage, faith and obedience. Healing could now begin because of one single person’s willingness to prove Christâs love through a visit. It can also happen in your lives this week.
Never underestimate the power of a loving word, a kind note, a phone call, an email or a word of appreciation.
Illustration:Experts know what should be done; leaders know what should be done and how to get people to do it.
Quoted in C. Barber, Nehemiah and the Dynamics of Leadership, p. 72.
Ask the Lord to help you to use more than just words to communicate love, truth and the power of God to others.
2. Peter risked being labeled as one who was ceremonially unclean by his own people because of his visit to the house of Cornelius. Peter was fully cognizant of the fact that the Jewish leaders would now try to inhibit him from worshipping in the temple.
Ask the Lord to help you risk friendships, associations and connections for the sake of Christâs truth.
Remember that God’s purposes, processes and power are able to replace whatever is given up for Him. Do not fear critical stereotypes. Critics often reveal more about their own narrow mindedness than they do about any deficiencies in you. Ask God to help you be more willing to make the necessary sacrifices to see Godâs purposes fulfilled in you.
3. When Peter entered the house of Cornelius, the Centurion fell at his feet to show respect, appreciation and acceptance. Acts of extending love over barriers is often a surprisingly positive experience. Many people have been pleasantly surprised by the way their acts of courage are able to accomplish more than they anticipated. Ask the Lord to help you to expect great things for God and attempt great things for Him.
4. Peter learned that the best means to put away his doubt was to act on truth. When a person becomes so busy in applying God’s truth they tend to forget their troubles, fears and anger.
Ask the Lord to help you put away your doubts by acting on whatever you know to be true, wholesome and pleasing to the Lord. One act of kindness can build a lifelong habit of joy, satisfaction and greater faith.
5. Peter learned that answers to his most perplexing questions came as he was in the process of obeying God’s truth. The more we obey the more Godâs reveals truth to us. If you wait until you have all the answers to your questions it is doubtful that you will accomplish anything.
Many people spend too much time acquiring information they never use. Follow the example of Peter and let God answer your questions as you are in the process of carrying out His directives.
6. Peter realized that the burden of his prejudices tended to melt away as He engaged in a ministry of love to the Gentiles. It is hard to overcome one’s prejudices unless we are willing to start to express love for those we dislike.
Illustration: Peter wrote, "But grow in grace and in the knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To Him be the glory both now and to the day of eternity." (2 Pet 3:18) Let us concentrate on growing in greater maturity regarding our God’s all sufficient grace to replace every weakness, burden or problem we have. Let us find our answers to every problem in the praise of the attributes of God. Find greater power, purpose and perspective when you praise God for the fact that He gives us every spiritual blessing in Christ. (Eph. 1:3)
Example: Even though all of Peter’s questions about ministering to the Gentiles were not answered until after the Jerusalem council in Acts 15, the burden of ministering to them was lifted in the process of his obedience.