Are You Ready To Be Amazed?

Even as Peter was saying these things, the Holy Spirit fell upon all who were listening to the message. The Jewish believers who came with Peter were amazed that the gift of the Holy Spirit had been poured out on the Gentiles, too. 

Acts chapter 10, verse 44 and 45, from the New Living Translation; emaphasis mine

Tell me, are you going through some difficult “hard to see any kind of favorable future” times? Are you ready to “throw in the towel”, “raise the white flag of surrender”, “knucle under”, “concede defeat”, or “give up the struggle”? At the risk of sounding like a late-night infomercial hawker, I say now unto thee: “ARE YOU READY TO BE AMAZED?”

Last night I was doing my Tuesday Night Facebook Live Bible Study. We were in Acts chapter 10 and the story of what is appropriately called The Gentile Pentecost! God gave a vision to this Gentile named Cornelius to call for Peter to come to his home. Then God gave Peter a peculiar dream about sheets and a variety of critters. Cornelius responded immediate to God’s vision. Peter, on the other hand, was trying to figure out the meaning of his dream. And God interupted Peter’s “trying to figure it all out” moment when Cornelius’s entourage knocked at the door with an invitation to come to his home–and mind you–it was the home of a “Gentile”! That was a place where no self-respecting Jew would ever go! But Peter went, and he brought along his own entourage.

After they arrived at this “Gentile-Unholy-God Awful” home, Peter shared the Good News of Jesus and The Kingdom Of God. And before Peter could even finish his sermon, the Holy Spirit came upon and within those “Gentiles”! And that infilling resulted in the very same thing that had happened earlier in Jerusalem during the Feast Of Passover. And the Jewish believers were “amazed”, “astonished” that it was happening to these “unclean” Gentiles. And get this: They weren’t even converted Jews–they were still Gentiles!

I looked up the Greek word translated amazed or astonished. Among it’s many meanings is this: “to throw out of position, displace”. In other words, they were not expecting such a display of God’s power in the place they were at. Maybe you’ve sung the song Amazing Grace. But tell me–be honest with yourself–“When was the last time you were amazed, astonished, thrown out of place by the display of God’s Grace and Power?” The synonym that should be used (but seems to be rarely used) is AWESTRUCK!

So, when you are stuck between the proverbial “rock and a hard place”, don’t you dare hand over to our Enemy your hopes and dreams! Even when the obstacles seem to be unsurmountable. Grace is truly amazing when we allow God to be in control of ‘dispensing’ it, even in unlikely places! And to my Tribal Members who are facing a difficult time trying to disaffiliate from the United Methodist Institution (see, I can’t even bring myself to call it a church anymore!) don’t you dare “Say Uncle” and give up on God’s Vision to bring into our messes, another Great Awakening! Allow yourself to be displaced from what seems to be an unfavorable outcome and get ready to be Amazed!

Amazing grace, how sweet the sound!

8 thoughts on “Are You Ready To Be Amazed?

  1. Perhaps the story of Cornelius speaks more to the fact of being inclusive.
    It’s interesting as you see this story as justification for splitting and yet, who in your current tribe is the pharisee? Is it those who are inclusive or those who are exclusive?

    I think
    An Ithe only one who sees the irony of this blog entry, or is there no irony here?

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    1. Yes, Pharisees exist on both sides. The difference between Cornelius and “being inclusive” is that Cornelius is seeking to honor God with all of his life. He’s not seeking for God to approve of him–but seeking to know more about how God wants him to live. This is evidenced by his prayer life. Cornelius is seeking transformation.

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      1. So you say, and yet the jews never saw Cornelius as that. All they saw was a sinner deserving eternal hell fire and not worthy of love. Todays christian is as yesteryears jew.
        Perhaps in the end, we should let the Holy Spirit deal with peoples hearts as only Be knows the heart?
        As usual, I appreciate your response and I’m not saying I disagree with it.
        The fact is, religious institutions are full of sinners occasional and habitual. Why single out any of them? Why are religious people accepting of those who break the 10 commandments but not of others?
        Gods’ continued blessings on you and yours Randy and all you put your hand to.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Good points, Stephen. Except we orthodox did not single them out. They approached the Orthodox faith seeking to reverse thousands of years of God’s intended design. And the arena of genders, they are attacking thousands of years of solid science.

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  2. Yes! I’ve come to believe that with the death of “Christendom” and the subsequent decline of the institutional church in the West, that God is creating a new “wine skin”, much like he did when Jesus came to inaugurate the kingdom of heaven. We are truly witnessing the passing of of the old and the expansion of the new. God is indeed doing a new thing.

    Liked by 1 person

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