Once, noted pastor and evangelist D.L. Moody was confronted by a critic who said they didn't like the way he did evangelism. Pastor Moody looked at the man and simply asked how he did evangelism in order that he might learn. When the man confessed he didn't really share his faith, Pastor Mood said, "I like my way of doing evangelism better than your way of NOT doing evangelism. This week, we will look at how Peter similarly responded to the critics who were upset at his reaching out to gentiles.
This past week, I attended a workshop to help me train others to study the Bible better. One of my coaches pointed out that Jonah went down to Joppa to find a boat as he ran from God. Where was peter when the Centurion's men find him? In Joppa. It would seem that God is using the city of Joppa to point out that he has a heart for the Gentiles. This week, we will learn more about that heart as we see the results of these two visions we looked at last week
Since the beginning of Acts, we've read and seen how God is taking the Gospel message to those beyond Israel's ethnic borders. Gentiles are part of God's plan as well. But, let's be honest, old practices and prejudices die hard. Even for an Apostle like Peter. Over the next three weeks, we are going to look at how the gospel is for everyone no matter your ethnic background and how we should react when we see people crossing those lines. It's "A Tale of Two Visions" and over the next three weeks, we will see what they mean and the fall out of those visions.
As a pastor, I get asked to pray for things all the time. And I honestly don't mind - I'm grateful that people are aware that prayer changes things. But, what if the purpose of an answered prayer or a miracle in someone's life wasn't to see them just feel better or beat cancer but instead to draw them closer to God?
This week, we will look at a text chronicling two very powerful miracles. But the bigger question is why did they happen? That's what we will look to answer this week as we continue our study of Acts with "What's the Point". See you Sunday at 10am!