"Do not just hear the Word of God and think hearing is enough. DO what it says!" James 1:22

Thursday, October 28, 2010

What will God do...

Acts 9:31-11:18
During our Wrap Up of Lesson 11 today,
I reminded my class or our very first day of CBS.
See this post here... First Day Activity

And to help Mrs. McKain's class better understand
what some of my class might have felt
with that first day activity,
everyone was lined up and then
"selected" to stand in two different groups.
Neither group was "labeled" as good or bad
but the students could tell by my bodily expressions
which group was the group you "wanted" to be in.
(It's amaizng how our body language
speaks sometimes so much louder than our actual words.)
I will explain this activity later in my post.

Through Peter, God healed Aeneas as we read in Acts 9:34.
God healed Aeneas because He loved Aeneas.
Through Peter, God raised Tabitha from the dead
because He loved Tabitha.

The students were asked if God decides NOT
to heal someone or just lets someone die,
does this mean He doesn't love them?
Absolutely not.
So why do we not see more of God's healing?

Was God trying to get Aeneas's attention?
(Many of the students thought "yes.")
Acts 9:35 says "All those who lived in Lydda
and Sharon saw him (Aeneas) and turned to the Lord."
Hmmm... think about that.
Consider whose attention God was trying to get.

What about Tabitha?
Did God bring her back to life just to get HER attention?
In Acts 9:42 we read how her resurrection became
"known all over Joppa, and many people
believed in the Lord."
Again, whose attention did God actually get?

I have no doubt God got the attentions of Aeneas and Tabitha
just as He certainly got the attention of Mr. Robert Mouser
who generously shared
his resurrection story with us this morning.
But think of the many people in Lydda, Sharon, and Joppa
(as well as New Albany, Indiana)
whose attentions were directed to the Lord
because of these amazing miracles. 

God's love for us is so strong, He will do
just to get our attention
so that we know how much He loves us.

In Acts 10:14, when the Lord told Peter
to kill and eat unclean animals,
Peter said, "Surely not, Lord!
I have never eaten anything not pure and not clean!"
Jews thought about talking to Gentiles
the same way Peter thought about eating something unclean...
"Surely NOT!"

God kept some things like certain animals,
certain people, and certain activities OUT of the
Jewish people so they would be different, set apart, clean and
"He was oppressed and afflicted, yet he did not open his mouth;
he was led like a lamb to the slaughter,
and as a sheep before its shearers is silent,
so he did not open his mouth."  Isaiah 53:7

Jesus is referred to as "the Lamb of God."
In the Old Testament, a lamb from each family was given
to God as a way to say "I'm sorry for my sins."
Not just any lamb!  It had to be the BEST lamb.

"When anyone brings from the herd or flock
a fellowship offering to the LORD
to fulfill a special vow or as a freewill offering,
it must be without defect
or blemish to be acceptable."  Leviticus 22:21

Jesus decided to say "I'm sorry" for YOUR sins (and mine.)
He is the perfect, PURE Lamb
and the last Lamb to be given as a sacrifice.

"[ Christ’s Sacrifice Once for All ]
The law is only a shadow
of the good things that are coming
—not the realities themselves.
For this reason it can never,
by the same sacrifices repeated endlessly year after year,
make perfect those who draw near to worship."
Hebrews 10:1-3

For Jesus to have come into our world (and our lives,)
He had to come from a clean and pure people.
With certain restrictions,
God kept the Jewish people a clean and pure people.
In Acts 10:9-16, God was explaining to Peter
these restrictions were "lifted"
("the sheet was immediately taken back to heaven" verse16)
or no longer necessary since Jesus had now come into the world.

At first, being with the Gentiles was very uncomfortable
for Peter, just like our activity earlier
was a bit uncomfortable for the students.
How blessed we are that God doesn't "pick and choose"
who to give the gift of Salvation!!!
God wants ALL people to know how much He loves them.
That is why He sent Peter to talk to the Gentiles.
And THAT is why He sent His one and only Son, Jesus.

God's love for us is so strong, He will do
just to get our attention
so that we know how much He loves us.