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God Doesn’t Play Favorites (Acts 10:34-43) *Verses in NKJV*
– In Acts chapter 10, Cornelius, a Gentile and a devout man who feared God, by direction of an angel sent for Peter to come and share a word with him and his family.
– Meanwhile, Peter was on a roof and had a vision of a sheet being let down from heaven, full of animals. God told him to eat them, because, “what God has cleansed you must not call common.”
– This was not about eating meat. It was about Peter needing to understand that Jesus has come for all people, and God doesn’t play favorites.
– Peter was a strict Jew and had problems when it came to breaking his old customs and traditions. He favored the Jews over the Gentiles, and it was affecting his ministry.
– Because of his vision, Peter went when requested, to the house of Cornelius to share the word.
Read Acts 10:34-43
#1. God doesn’t play favorites!
– Peter had a problem with playing favorites. In Galatians we see Peter hanging out with the Gentile believers, but distancing himself from them as soon as the Jewish believers show up.
– I have to admit I find myself playing favorites too, just maybe differently than our culture.
– In America, the rich are more valuable than you are. Actors, athletes, the Kardashians… Why do we care more about what they tweet than a doctor, professor, or pastor?
– Why are the riches people in America given free lunches and swag, and the poorest among us are starving and living in their cars?
– Not to be mean, but I don’t care at all about someone being famous for being rich. I didn’t watch the Superbowl, I don’t care how expensive your car, watch, or shoes are.
– I DO favor some people over others. I’d love to meet Nick Vujicic (VOY-chitch), Christian evangelist and motivational speaker born with no arms or legs. I’d let him cut in line!
Example: Ernie, a goof-ball I wasn’t fond of working with. Then he rescues 10 people of off the mud slide pile in Oso, as a volunteer, ends up meeting 2 presidents… I love that dude!
– Job 34:19, Yet He is not partial to princes, Nor does He regard the rich more than the poor; For they are all the work of His hands.
– I should/we should look at people like Jesus does:
– Example: I’m leaving for India soon, Mathew’s family moved from upper middle class to adopt children in the poorest communities. Been doing it 30 yrs, currently have 25 kids.
– The Grace Ashram is not an “orphanage” because all the children have been adopted into the family, given a new name, have now escaped from the strict cast system of oppression.
– We also have been made sons, and given a new name, through faith in Christ Jesus!
– Read Galatians 3:26-29
– We have not been “stack-ranked”. We are all heirs, one in Christ Jesus. Amen!
– Acts 10:34-35, Then Peter opened his mouth and said: “In truth I perceive that God shows no partiality. But in every nation whoever fears Him and works righteousness is accepted by Him.
– Roman 10:14-15, How then shall they call on Him in whom they have not believed? And how shall they believe in Him of whom they have not heard? And how shall they hear without a preacher? 15 And how shall they preach unless they are sent? As it is written: “How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the gospel of peace, Who bring glad tidings of good things!”
* How will they know, unless someone is willing to go?
#2. Peter is a witness, and he has been called to testify.
– Peter was willing to go and be uncomfortable in order to “…Preach peace through Jesus Christ…” to the gentiles. (verse 36)
– Luke 24:46-48, Then (Jesus) said to them, “Thus it is written, and thus it was necessary for the Christ to suffer and to rise from the dead the third day, 47 and that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in His name to all nations, beginning at Jerusalem. 48 And you are witnesses of these things.
– Here in verse 39, Peter says, “And we are witnesses of all these things which he did…” and in verse 43 says, “…through His name, whoever believes in Him will receive remission of sins.”
– We see here Peter’s obedience overcame his preference, as he went and preached exactly what Jesus told him to preach, to a family with a different nationality.
* A witness is called to testify about what they have seen and heard.
– It’s your story! Just tell the truth, the whole truth, and noting but the truth! (Powerful!!)
– Acts 22:15, For you will be His witness to all men of what you have seen and heard.
– In Acts 10:33, just before our verses for today, Cornelius tells Peter, “So I sent for you immediately, and you have done well to come…” Peter went where he was sent.
– Example: Southeast Asian Institute of Leadership students, at the Grace Ashram in India.
– A school for training up pastors/evangelists to return to their homelands with the Gospel.
– India, Bhuton, Nepal, Bangladesh… the heart of the 10/40 window. (2.8 billion unreached)
– Their witness/gospel reaching people who would not otherwise hear it, places I can’t go!
* God loves the people in the 10/40 the same as he loves us. God doesn’t play favorites!
– Your testimony about what Jesus has done to you and through you is a powerful tool in leading others to Jesus.
– Whether you are Brian and Nicole Faith on a medical mission in Guatemala…
– Or Qmissions building wells and bathrooms in Cambodia… Or building houses in Mexico…
* All should be done to bring God glory and make His name known!
– Matthew 5:16, Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.
– Col. 3:23-24,And whatever you do, do it heartily, as to the Lord and not to men, 24 knowing that from the Lord you will receive the reward of the inheritance; for you serve the Lord Christ.
- You do not need a special calling to share the gospel.
– Read Acts 10:42-43 again.
– How can they believe in Jesus and be forgiven, if they don’t know who Jesus is?
– This is life saving information! Example: Don’t leave you babies in the back seat of the car.
– Morning show helpful hint, “Leaving something valuable in the back seat, like your phone or your wallet, that way you will check, and not forget your baby.”
– THIS IS THE INSANE WORLD WE LIVE IN! It will be hard work, but people need Jesus!
– Galatians 3:26, For you are all sons of God through faith in Jesus Christ.
– How can they be adopted into the family and becomes sons without the Gospel?
– Romans 10:11-13, For the Scripture says, “Whoever believes on Him will not be put to shame.” 12 For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek, for the same Lord over all is rich to all who call upon Him. 13 For “whoever calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved.”
– 2 Cor. 5:20-21, Now then, we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God were pleading through us: we implore you on Christ’s behalf, be reconciled to God. 21 For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in (Christ Jesus).
– Acts 2:37-38, Then Peter said to them, “Repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. 39 For the promise is to you and to your children, and to all who are afar off, as many as the Lord our God will call.”