Opening Scripture

Acts 10:1-16 Cornelius’s Conversion

Up to this point, for the past ten years, only Jews were Christians. God wanted Peter to reach out to the Gentiles,

Fresh moves of the Spirit have come over and over. We need a fresh awakening, a revival through our land. This is the urgent need of our day.

We need to understand the priorities of the Spirit:
1) The Holy Spirit partners with those who pray.
– The Centurion and Peter were men of prayer.
– Prayer is the primary precursor to a fresh awakening.

We probably know this but we sometimes stutter in our prayer life, starting and stopping.
“One day at 3:00”; God knew who he could go to because they were praying; they were connected to God.

2) The Holy Spirit breaks down barriers.
– To get through to Peter, he has to say it three times; “Rise, Peter, kill and eat.” The issue here was prejudice, but he didn’t know it.
– God used the kosher laws to bring understanding to Peter. Peter prided himself on being holy because of what he ate, and he was better than others who ate what was unholy.
– The Holy Spirit was making Peter to relate to the Gentiles in a different way.

vs. 27-29  As he talked with him, he entered and found many people assembled. And he said to them, “You yourselves know how unlawful it is for a man who is a Jew to associate with a foreigner or to visit him; and yet God has shown me that I should not call any man unholy or unclean.

There was a great divide between Jew and Gentile culturally. God wanted to take them into something new, into a fresh move of the Holy Spirit.

3) The Holy Spirit highlights Jesus.
– The early church told the Jesus story over and over.

vs. 37-43  You yourselves know the thing which took place throughout all Judea, starting from Galilee, after the baptism which John proclaimed. You know of Jesus of Nazareth, how God anointed Him with the Holy Spirit and with power, and how He went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil, for God was with Him. We are witnesses of all the things He did both in the land of the Jews and in Jerusalem. They also put Him to death by hanging Him on a cross. God raised Him up on the third day and granted that He become visible, not to all the people, but to witnesses who were chosen beforehand by God, that is, to us who ate and drank with Him after He arose from the dead. And He ordered us to preach to the people, and solemnly to testify that this is the One who has been appointed by God as Judge of the living and the dead. Of Him all the prophets bear witness that through His name everyone who believes in Him receives forgiveness of sins.”

He was telling the story. We are followers of Jesus and all we need to do is tell the stories to people.

When the Holy Spirit works, what is authentic is the lifting up of the story of Jesus.

What people want is genuine. If you have Jesus in you, you have genuineness to share.

4) The Holy Spirit takes control.

vs. 44-46  While Peter was still speaking these words, the Holy Spirit fell upon all those who were listening to the message. All the circumcised believers who came with Peter were amazed, because the gift of the Holy Spirit had been poured out on the Gentiles also. For they were hearing them speaking with tongues and exalting God. Then Peter answered,

The Holy Spirit didn’t ask. He didn’t ask permission. He took control.

We emphasize being in control and in self-control. We underestimate when the Holy Spirit just sweeps in and takes control.

The Holy Spirit is like the wind, He just blows in. You don’t know where He’s going. He turns things upside down.

In a move of God, we need to let God be God, Jesus be Jesus, and the Holy Spirit be the Holy Spirit.

If we don’t believe God is big enough for Europe or America, where is our faith? Where is our concept of God?

We need God to break down our prejudices and let God be God.
___________________

Digging Deeper:
What will it take for you to let go and let the Holy Spirit work in your life?
How have you been standing in the way of what the Holy Spirit wants to do in your life?
_______________________

Advertisements