Still the Same Way

Acts 10:30-48

Paul, in Romans 3:10-11, quoted Psalm 14:3 when he said that no one is righteous, no not one. No one understands; no one seeks God. Martin Luther, the Catholic priest who started the reformation, said that Paul wasn’t just talking about those who do not seek God, but also those who don’t seek Him in the way He wants to be sought and found. He goes on to say that God wants us to look for and find Him through faith, in humility not relying on what we think we know or what we presume.

Jesus says in Matthew 5:6, “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled.”

Do you want to be righteous? Do you hunger and thirst for it so badly that you are willing to rethink deeply held convictions and compare them to what Jesus said? Righteousness in the Bible means being righteous and doing righteousness. Peter was being righteous, and Cornelius was doing righteousness, but God wants both!

If we concentrate on being righteous and dismiss doing righteousness we may think because we believe in Jesus, it’s okay for us to neglect obeying God and serving others. It can also lead to Gnostic-like thinking that says we can do anything we want with our bodies because it is our souls that will live eternally.

However, if we are more concerned with doing righteousness and neglect being righteous, we find ourselves thinking that keeping rules and regulations are the way to God instead of realizing that God loves us not because we keep laws, but because we love, trust, and have faith in Jesus.

It can make us become judgmental. We begin thinking that because we keep the laws and regulations, everyone should. And, if they don’t, we judge their worthiness to God.

Being a righteous person in God’s eyes requires both. Just because I concern myself with missions and outreach to others doesn’t mean I can disregard God’s laws.

Just because I follow God’s laws doesn’t mean I can neglect others or make judgements on their acceptability to God or their salvation.

Our sharing the gospel with others doesn’t start with converting people from their sinful lifestyle, our sharing the gospel should start with converting people from their unbelief.

Sermon Audio

Daily Prayers

Sunday, October 30
Acts 10:30-33

30 Cornelius answered: “Three days ago I was in my house praying at this hour, at three in the afternoon. Suddenly a man in shining clothes stood before me 31 and said, ‘Cornelius, God has heard your prayer and remembered your gifts to the poor. 32 Send to Joppa for Simon who is called Peter. He is a guest in the home of Simon the tanner, who lives by the sea.’ 33 So I sent for you immediately, and it was good of you to come. Now we are all here in the presence of God to listen to everything the Lord has commanded you to tell us.”

Father, we praise you for your omniscience. You are already at work in the lives of those not committed to you yet. Your prevenient grace begins to prepare hearts long before we get the opportunity to share the Gospel. Lord, you have given us inordinate power and responsibility. Our words to others can help them want Your Spirit to grow, or they can cause someone to crush your Spirit and send your Spirit away. Father, help us live up to the trust you place in us to grow your kingdom through our words and actions. In the name of Jesus, we pray, Amen.

Monday, October 31
Acts 10:34-38

Then Peter began to speak: “I now realize how true it is that God does not show favoritism 35 but accepts from every nation the one who fears him and does what is right. 36 You know the message God sent to the people of Israel, announcing the good news of peace through Jesus Christ, who is Lord of all. 37 You know what has happened throughout the province of Judea, beginning in Galilee after the baptism that John preached—38 how God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and power, and how he went around doing good and healing all who were under the power of the devil, because God was with him. 

Praise to you, Lord, for your fairness! Unlike us, who choose people based on our own criteria, you choose people based on their Creator. We have a choice with everyone we meet; we can be part of the bridge you use to reach others or help Satan block it. Use us as your bridge to share the Gospel with others. In Jesus’ name, we pray, Amen.

Tuesday, November 1
Acts 10:39-40

39 “We are witnesses of everything he did in the country of the Jews and in Jerusalem. They killed him by hanging him on a cross, 40 but God raised him from the dead on the third day and caused him to be seen. 

Lord, thank you for reaching out to me before I knew you. Because of that and the people you placed in my path to bridge the way to you, I came to faith in the risen Christ. When I am tempted to condemn someone Father, instead remind me to speak Jesus crucified, dead, resurrected, and ascended for all people. In Jesus’ name, we pray, Amen.

Wednesday. November 2
Acts 10:41-43

“He was not seen by all the people, but by witnesses whom God had already chosen—by us who ate and drank with him after he rose from the dead. 42 He commanded us to preach to the people and to testify that he is the one whom God appointed as judge of the living and the dead. 43 All the prophets testify about him that everyone who believes in him receives forgiveness of sins through his name.”

Lord, it is so amazing that you trust your totally failable creation to be a part of your plan. Please help us, Father. Help us live up to the trust you place in us. Help us remember that it is your plan that we share the Gospel with others, Lord, not in a way that condemns others but in a way that lifts Jesus up to them. In the name of Jesus Christ, Amen

Thursday, November 3
Acts 10:44

While Peter was still speaking these words, the Holy Spirit came on all who heard the message.

I praise you, Holy Spirit! As God’s Spirit, you come when we speak Jesus. You come to us, and you come to those to whom we speak. Because of you and through you, we are able to fulfill God’s plan for us in this world. Prevent me from blocking you from myself and from others. In Jesus’ name, we pray, Amen

Friday, November 4
Acts 10:45-49

The circumcised believers who had come with Peter were astonished that the gift of the Holy Spirit had been poured out even on Gentiles. 46 For they heard them speaking in tongues and praising God. Then Peter said, 47 “Surely no one can stand in the way of their being baptized with water. They have received the Holy Spirit just as we have.” 48 So he ordered that they be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ. Then they asked Peter to stay with them for a few days.

How blessed we all are that you accept anyone who turns to you. Thank you for your Spirit that continually calls us to repentance. Thank you for bearing with us when we try to run from your voice that says, “I love you, come back to me.” In the name of Christ alone, Amen

Saturday, November 4

Lord, I look back over this past week and see the times I failed you. Satan whispers that these failures make you not want me; they make me unworthy to worship you. Because of this, it could be easy to skip church and stay in bed, go to the lake, or go shopping before everyone else gets out of church. Silence his voice, Lord. Remind me that I am your beloved child. Fill me with your peace, love, acceptance, and forgiveness. I don’t have to defeat Satan because you already have. Bless our preachers with your words and, as they speak Jesus, send your Spirit to fall on us all. In Jesus’ name, we pray, Amen.