We’re still walking through Cornelius’s and Peter’s encounter…
So he invited them in to be his guests.
The next day he rose and went away with them, and some of the brothers from Joppa accompanied him. And on the following day they entered Caesarea. Cornelius was expecting them and had called together his relatives and close friends. When Peter entered, Cornelius met him and fell down at his feet and worshiped him. But Peter lifted him up, saying, “Stand up; I too am a man.” And as he talked with him, he went in and found many persons gathered. And he said to them, “You yourselves know how unlawful it is for a Jew to associate with or to visit anyone of another nation, but God has shown me that I should not call any person common or unclean. So when I was sent for, I came without objection. I ask then why you sent for me.”
The Jews are God’s chosen people… but they’re chosen to be inclusive, not exclusive.
- God manifested Himself to the Jews for many reasons, but a primary reason was to show His favor upon them and draw others to Himself.
What was the difference between Jews and non-Jews? God was with them!
The Holy God was making His people holy for the purpose of showing the difference.
- God’s people should be set apart.
- God’s people should be unique.
- God’s people should be radically different.
Before Jesus, when a clean person touched an unclean person, the clean person became unclean. After Jesus, when a clean person touched an unclean person, the unclean person became clean.
What does Peter tell Cornelius?
“But God has shown me that I should not call any person common or unclean.”
What’s something new God showed you in 2019?
What’s something new God wants to show you in 2020?
What something new God has shown us?
- God has shown me the fullness of Zechariah 4:6-7. Historically, Exodus 33:18 was my signature verse. The problem with Exodus 33:18 is that Moses didn’t get to enter the Promised Land. I always feared in the world of revival and spiritual awakening that I was Moses instead of Joshua.
- Through this new word from God, Zechariah 4:6-7, we are entering the Promised Land of revival and spiritual awakening. We took a stand based upon this promise and we paid the cost. But the seed of faith did not die.
- God showed us that we couldn’t live with a partial belief, understanding, and experience of the Holy Spirit.
- God showed us that we couldn’t fulfill God’s vision for us apart from the leading and fullness of the Holy Spirit.
- God has shown us that the Holy Spirit is the same yesterday, today, and tomorrow.
- God has shown us that He’s unlocking His presence, peace, and power.
- God has shown us that we’re powerless to lead the church apart from the power of the Holy Spirit.
- God has shown us that we can’t fulfill God’s mission apart from God’s people using their gifts to build up the body.
What has God shown you for 2020?
What is a word you have from the Lord?
What is a verse you’re leaning on?
This morning, I was asking God for a word, phrase, or sentence and the Holy Spirit impressed this phrase upon me: Believe big! It’s important for you to ask God for a specific word for you, but I also invite you to take this journey of believing big with us.
- This is bigger than geography.
- This is about a movement.
It’s time for all of us to believe big; after all, who wants to believe small?
- Neutral doesn’t exist.
- In the world of believing, trusting, and obeying, I’d rather make my mistakes by believing big instead of small.
What has believing small done for God’s glory, Kingdom, and people?
What has believing small done for you and your family?
Ultimately, believing small always disappoints.
Ultimately, even the failures of believing big are better than the successes of believing small.
In closing, here’s a thought-provoking quote that our daughter, Annika, just shared with me.
“The greater the doubt, the greater the awakening; the smaller the doubt, the smaller the awakening. No doubt, no awakening.” (C.C. Chang)