World history and the condition of this planet changed significantly when Jesus arrived on the scene. Many modern historians have criticized Christianity by pointing to the flaws of the Church over the centuries, but one thing cannot be denied. The early church was radical and its followers suffered immensely over the first two centuries, and because of them the known world experience radical change for the good. The history of the church since that time has not been superlative, but we are now living in times that need the same surge of life of those early believers. And what made the difference? Pastor Gerry Wilson peels that onion for us today.
We all want more peace in our lives, but how many of us are willing to shut up and listen. Why is it so important that others know our opinion about everything?! So much disagreement can be turned to unity if only we learned patience, keeping back, listening. Result... a quiet heart. Peace.
We're finishing up today on Peter's visit with the centurion Cornelius. We take these old scripture stories for granted, but it is interesting to rethink them from a fresh perspective. It can give us a newer perspective of our own lives and the roll we play in the entire scheme of history and salvation.
That's right, rocked, not rock. That's for those of us old enough to remember the old 50's tune of Bill Haley & His Comets. But three o'clock truly was a time of day when significant events occurred in biblical times: Jesus dying on the cross, Peter & John healing the man at the Beautiful Gate, and in today's lesson, Peter receiving the vision on the tanner's roof. One thing is absolutely certain. When the Lord gets hold of your life, get ready to be rocked.
Remember Alice in Lewis Carroll's novel Through the Looking Glass. Was that world real or imaginary? So much confusion. This had to be much the same for the Samaritans and particularly for Simon the sorcerer in Acts Chapter 8. When Phillip, Peter and John visited Samaria it must have been much the same for that region as it was for Alice. The deceptions of the world, the mixture of philosophies, and the lure of magical powers caused confusion. Christ brings clarity. But the focus this week isn't their situation and condition, it's ours.
We've parenthetically labeled this part 2, as it is very much the companion of the audio of July 9 of 2017. This also could have just as easily been titled "All In". Are we? The Lord really does want all of us. The point isn't to be burdened or to be guilted into commitment but to take time for honest inventory of our journey toward total commitment to the Lord.
Our guest speaker today brings an interesting perspective. If they say you're a door, or you're a signpost, as will be discussed this session, I think everyone understands that you're not, really. These are just examples, metaphors. But what about a temple? That's real, and that has power. Power to change you. Power to change others. Your life is completely and irrevocably changed when the power of the Living God, the person of the Holy Spirit, because of Jesus Himself, has taken control of you.
The subject of power we discussed last week was more outward looking. This week we're going introspective. Figure it this way; if Jesus is in fact returning within our lifetime, and the way the world is going it sure wouldn't be surprising if He did, then it becomes even more imperative to understand that we have been given the power, the power to change. Time to get serious.
Snap's rap tune "I've Got The Power". That's what the world admires and desires. Wrong direction. You've got the real power, and your job is to give it away... for free. Peter in Acts.
When Adam was first made by God, his body was not alive. Funny... never really thought of it that way. He was in a sense dead, at least until the Spirit of God moved on and in him, "breathed" on him, and suddenly Adam had life.
Once again, practicing the rituals of a particular religion is not what gives your spirit life. Even at the group level, if it's comprised of nothing more than a collection of spiritually dead people who just attend periodic rituals we call church, you've got a dead church.
We're looking for life both on the individual and corporate level. Now you've got something.
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