Tucker Bearden – “I could have had a really different story, but God came down to restore me.” Praise God for His unending grace and mercy.
Jessica Eaton – How long are you going to sit in the cell? A prisoner by choice? The door is open, get up and give it to Jesus. You are already set free, walk through the door and claim your freedom through Jesus Christ.
Dawn Dalton – We should CELEBRATE knowing God grafted us into His plan OF SALVATION!!
My story would be different
9 The next day, as they went on their journey and drew near the city, Peter went up on the housetop to pray, about [a]the sixth hour. 10 Then he became very hungry and wanted to eat; but while they made ready, he fell into a trance 11 and saw heaven opened and an object like a great sheet bound at the four corners, descending to him and let down to the earth. 12 In it were all kinds of four-footed animals of the earth, wild beasts, creeping things, and birds of the air. 13 And a voice came to him, “Rise, Peter; kill and eat.”
14 But Peter said, “Not so, Lord! For I have never eaten anything common or unclean.”
15 And a voice spoke to him again the second time, “What God has[b]cleansed you must not call common.” 16 This was done three times. And the object was taken up into heaven again.
17 Now while Peter [c]wondered within himself what this vision which he had seen meant, behold, the men who had been sent from Cornelius had made inquiry for Simon’s house, and stood before the gate. 18 And they called and asked whether Simon, whose surname was Peter, was lodging there.
- In the last couple of Wednesdays, we have been following Peter as he travels
- He healed Aeneas and raises Tabitha (also known as Dorcas)
- In chapter 10 we see Cornelius (Roman army officer) – a devoted man of God gets a vision and an angel tell him to send two man to ask Peter (Pastor Steve will cover)
- Peter is up in roof of the place he is staying in Joppa to pray
- He is hungry and while he is praying, he fell asleep and sees a vision
- In the vision, – Great linen come from heaven and in it there are all kind of animals
- He hears a voice from God saying ’ Rise up kill and eat”
- His response is that “he has never eaten anything unclean and uncommon
- In reference to Leviticus 11: 1-5 Now the Lordspoke to Moses and Aaron, saying to them, 2 “Speak to the children of Israel, saying, ‘These are the animals which you may eat among all the animals that are on the earth: 3 Among the animals, whatever divides the hoof, having cloven hooves and chewing the cud—that you may eat. 4 Nevertheless these you shall not eat among those that chew the cud or those that have cloven hooves: the camel, because it chews the cud but does not have cloven hooves, is [a]unclean to you; 5 the [b]rock hyrax, because it chews the cud but does not have cloven hooves, is [c]unclean to you;
- 15 And a voice spoke to him again the second time, “What God has[b]cleansed you must not call common.” 16 This was done three times. And the object was taken up into heaven again.
- The same vision was repeated 3 times – completion or absoluteness (Absolute, unqualified, utter all mean unmodified. Absolute implies an unquestionable finality)
- Peter is astonished, what could the vision mean, just then the men sent by Cornelius arrive and asks for him.
- This moment right here, is where you and I (Gentiles) are invited to God’s kingdom
- This is a significant moment- Because we have to understand that Jesus was sent to redeem God’s Holy People – the Jews
Deuteronomy7:6-8 or you are a [a]holy people to the Lord your God; the Lord your God has chosen you to be a people for Himself, a special treasure above all the peoples on the face of the earth. 7 The Lord did not set His love on you nor choose you because you were more in number than any other people, for you were the least of all peoples; 8 but because the Lord loves you, and because He would keep the oath which He swore to your fathers, the Lord has brought you out with a mighty hand, and redeemed you from the house of [b]bondage, from the hand of Pharaoh king of Egypt.
- This is seen when a woman who was not a Jew is begging Jesus to heal her daughter.
- Matthew 15:21-28 Then Jesus went out from there and departed to the region of Tyre and Sidon. 22 And behold, a woman of Canaan came from that region and cried out to Him, saying, “Have mercy on me, O Lord, Son of David! My daughter is severely demon-possessed.” 23 But He answered her not a word.
And His disciples came and urged Him, saying, “Send her away, for she cries out after us.”
24 But He answered and said, “I was not sent except to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.”
25 Then she came and worshiped Him, saying, “Lord, help me!”
26 But He answered and said, “It is not good to take the children’s bread and throw it to the little dogs.”
27 And she said, “Yes, Lord, yet even the little dogs eat the crumbs which fall from their masters’ table.”(She understands her position and is not entitled)
28 Then Jesus answered and said to her, “O woman, great is your faith! Let it be to you as you desire.” And her daughter was healed from that very hour.
- Jesus is not being mean here, He is just staying true to His mission
- In order to understand the opportunity, we have to look at the origin of that opportunity and ask ourselves
- How different would my story be?
- This moment right here, gave us access to all that God had planned and kept for all His beloved. We inherited all the promises:
- The Lord will fight for you need only be still “Exodus 14:14” – That God was not only going to fight for His people but you my brother and sister- was now under the protection of God
- Fear not, for I amwith you;
Be not dismayed, for I am your God.
I will strengthen you,
Yes, I will help you,
I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.’ Isaiah 41:10
- And the Lord, He isthe One who goes before you. He will be with you, He will not leave you nor forsake you; do not fear nor be dismayed.” Deuteronomy 31:8
- Fear not, for I amwith you;
- The love of God is amazing, that though Gentiles, a people that were living outside God’s will – He gave us an opportunity to hear the word of God and make a choice
- John 3:16 – For God so loved the world that He gave His only begottenSon, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. – It means everyone!!!
- If you are a non-Jew, this point forward gives you an opportunity to choose God. To walk in the new-found freedom
- No longer are you bound by chain But God included you and I
- What a glorious moment – Give thanks to God!
- I know that I speak to a group that loves God and committed to coming on Wednesday service
- You know the beauty of what has been done – But I want to press in a little more ….
- We have all agreed that we have access – We have been included, yet in some areas of our lives, we have allowed the enemy to come in and take away that freedom that we were freely given
- Let me explain –
- Luke 8:43-48 Now a woman, having a flow of blood for twelve years, who had spent all her livelihood on physicians and could not be healed by any, 44 came from behind and touched the border of His garment. And immediately her flow of blood stopped.
45 And Jesus said, “Who touched Me?”
46 But Jesus said, “Somebody touched Me, for I perceived power going out from Me.” 47 Now when the woman saw that she was not hidden, she came trembling; and falling down before Him, she declared to Him in the presence of all the people the reason she had touched Him and how she was healed immediately.
48 And He said to her, “Daughter, [c]be of good cheer; your faith has made you well. Go in peace.”
- This woman had been in a really bad situation for 12 years
- Because of her sickness she was deemed unclean.
- She could not be in public, couldn’t be touched by anyone, she was unclean
- Yet, she heard about Jesus, we are not told how long she contemplated about it – But finally her freedom was going to come from refusing to stay the same
- She had heard about Jesus – the healer and opportunity had come and she was not going to live another day in this prison
- She got up, got ready and didn’t have a plan B- She pressed on to the crowd – I wonder how many times she tried to touch Jesus that day
- But she was determined to touch the hem of His cloth
- This woman, didn’t not have to same freedom we have- yet she chose not to settle not to be comfortable
- I wonder if she would have waited 12 years if she had the same freedom we have…I bet you that her story would be different.
- Tonight, you have listened to the enemy in different areas of your life.
- Your freedom has been drowned by voices from the enemy
- You are not good enough
- You will never amount to anything more than this
- You have gone too far
- You are this and that – God will never accept you for what you have done
- Its so hard you can never change
- We have allowed the enemy to lie to us and now we imprison ourselves
(Story of the eagle and chicken)
- The prison door is open – You are no longer a prisoner – But friends you have to get up and walk out
- This woman, had to push, and push, and push and push
- Why are you still sitting listening to the enemy –
- You are included as a son and daughter of the Holy God
- Get up and walk up to the alter and give it up to Jesus – Lay it down here and pick up the freedom that says – I am a child of God!! I am a child of God! I am a child of God!
Altar call- This evening I am calling you to come and change your story.
https://youtu.be/710eqhcJq7Y – Hallelujah for The CrossSpread the Gospel!