His Presence: The Greatest Gift of All Acts 10
Acts 10 is the story where Peter has a vision from the Lord in which some animals that were not Kosher to dietary laws of the Old Testament are lowered down from Heaven and then Peter is told to eat. Three times he has this vision repeated to him while in trance during prayer.
At the same time God sends an angel to a God fearing Centurion in another city. This man sends for Peter. When Peter shows up and the share their respective visions, the sense the presence of God in the house where there is a crowd. Peter shares the gospel and the Holy Spirit falls on uncircumcised people before he can even give a call to respond to the gospel. This amazing breakthrough results in the early church no longer requiring Gentiles to convert to Judaism in order to accept the gospel. This was God's plan all along but it took a vision from God and a might move of God's Spirit to take the church to the next level. Here are three lessons I believe still apply to us today! (These are the notes I am preaching for a message a week before Christmas.)
1) Sometimes, even though we don't put God in a BOX, we do put him in a BOX in regards as to what he can do through us.
Acts 10:15 The voice spoke to him a second time, “Do not call anything impure that God has made clean.” 16 This happened three times, and immediately the sheet was taken back to heaven.
Ephesians 3:20-21 Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, 21 to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.
2) There are places and people where the PRESENCE of God is what is necessary to bring a breakthrough for the gospel to reach them.
Acts 10:33 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.”
3) The Holy Spirit IN you is better than having Jesus NEXT to you. His presence is the greatest gift of all.
Acts 10:44 While Peter was still speaking these words, the Holy Spirit came on all who heard the message. 45 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.
1 Corinthians 10:19 Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; 20 you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your bodies.
The Presence of God - some selected verses to meditate on
Exodus 33:11 - The Lord would speak to Moses face to face, as one speaks to a friend. Then Moses would return to the camp, but his young aide Joshua son of Nun did not leave the tent.
Exodus 33:14-15 - The Lord replied, “My Presence will go with you, and I will give you rest.” 15 Then Moses said to him, “If your Presence does not go with us, do not send us up from here.
Psalms - 16:11 You make known to me the path of life; you will fill me with joy in your presence, with eternal pleasures at your right hand.
Psalms 51:11 Do not cast me from your presence or take your Holy Spirit from me.
(In NT Holy Spirit not taken away - Ephesians 4:30 And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with whom you were sealed for the day of redemption.)
Psalms 101:7 No one who practices deceit will dwell in my house; no one who speaks falsely will stand in my presence.
Psalms 139:7 Where can I go from your Spirit? Where can I flee from your presence?
Psalms 140:13Surely the righteous will praise your name, and the upright will live in your presence.
Jesus called Immanuel - God with us
Isaiah 7:14 - Therefore the Lord himself will give you[a] a sign: The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and[c] will call him Immanuel.
Isaiah 9:6 - For to us a child is born, to us a son is given,and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
Matthew 1:21-23 She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins.” 22 All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had said through the prophet: 23 “The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel” (which means “God with us”).
Jesus about sending the Holy Spirit - God in us!
John 14:16,17 And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another advocate to help you and be with you forever— 17 the Spirit of truth. The world cannot accept him, because it neither sees him nor knows him. But you know him, for he lives with you and will be[a] in you.
John 16:7 But very truly I tell you, it is for your good that I am going away. Unless I go away, the Advocate will not come to you; but if I go, I will send him to you.