Resonate Church Vision

Posted: April 30, 2013 in Uncategorized

Here is the basic message Jake Sloan preached at Resonate Church on April 28th, 2013.

This message is about the specific vision the Lord has given us for Resonate Church.

You know, vision is very important to any group of people from a business to a civic organization to a church. Vision is the glue that holds all the pieces of our individual gifts and backgrounds together. We are all so unique and that is great, but vision aligns us. Vision mobilizes us as a group to do what we could never do alone.

So we were asking the Lord, what portion of scripture would best illustrate the vision we are about to describe to you.

And we chose Acts 10, where God shifts some mindsets in the church. He causes the Apostle Peter to get a new vision of what he wanted to do in his church. I want to let you know that Peter has been one of the three major pillars of the church along with James and John. So far the church is growing rapidly and many miracles are happening. People are being healed, this guy Philip is traveling through time and space to preach the gospel. Radical stuff is happening!

One of the main Jewish leaders who has been persecuting the church, killing Christians all over the place in the name of God… You know, Saul? Well, rumor has it that he has had an experience with God and that he is now a believer. The disciples hear the news, they cannot believe it. They don’t want to touch this evil guy Saul with a ten foot pole. They are afraid he will infiltrate their ranks and kill even more believers. So Saul hangs out with good ole Barnabas for a while. Meanwhile, Peter goes about his everyday business of healing the paralyzed and raising the dead, staying with friends.

So all of this background brings us to Chapter 10. We’re gonna look at this from the perspective of Peter. Peter is just having a regular day at his buddy, Simon the tanner’s house. He was waiting for dinner to be prepared, so naturally, he was hungry. Now, it’s normal to dream about food when you’re hungry. But this dream was no normal dream. Let’s read it starting in verse 10 of Acts 10.

He became hungry and wanted something to eat, and while the meal was being prepared, he fell into a trance. He saw heaven opened and something like a large sheet being let down to earth by its four corners. It contained all kinds of four-footed animals, as well as reptiles and birds. Then a voice told him, “Get up, Peter. Kill and eat.” “Surely not, Lord!” Peter replied. “I have never eaten anything impure or unclean.” The voice spoke to him a second time, “Do not call anything impure that God has made clean.” This happened three times, and immediately the sheet was taken back to heaven.

Peter was still fuzzy about what this trance was all about. But little did he know that God had a plan in mind.

The day before, he had spoken to a man named Cornelius in a dream. This Cornelius was not a Jew. He was a Roman. But he loved God the best he knew how. But Cornelius did not know about the saving power of Jesus yet. Basically all God tells him is that he is pleased with his life of prayer and giving and that he needs to meet a guy named Simon Peter who is staying with Simon the Tanner by the sea. Cornelius doesn’t have a phone or even a GPS so he can be sure he has got the right place, but he sends his servants out to go find Peter.

The exact moment that these guys get to the house was the moment that Peter wakes up from his strange trance. These guys say basically, “Hey, man, an angel talked with our boss and he sent us here to get you.” So, Peter follows God’s spirit and no doubt his curiosity is peaked. You think God knows what he is doing? I have noticed he doesn’t give us all the pieces to the puzzle. I think that might be because he wants us to seek him out. He wants to see if we’ll follow the path he creates regardless of where it is going.

Now, God has got these two guys together and he is about to give them a vision that neither of them was expecting. He is about to radically change their paradigms about God and about his people.

Let’s read vs. 24-35

The following day he arrived in Caesarea. Cornelius was expecting them and had called together his relatives and close friends. As Peter entered the house, Cornelius met him and fell at his feet in reverence. But Peter made him get up. “Stand up,” he said, “I am only a man myself.” While talking with him, Peter went inside and found a large gathering of people. He said to them: “You are well aware that it is against our law for a Jew to associate with or visit a Gentile. But God has shown me that I should not call anyone impure or unclean. So when I was sent for, I came without raising any objection. May I ask why you sent for me?”

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 and said, ‘Cornelius, God has heard your prayer and remembered your gifts to the poor. 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.’ 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.” Then Peter began to speak: “I now realize how true it is that God does not show favoritism but accepts from every nation the one who fears him and does what is right.

Peter was no dummy. He got the message God was trying to communicate loud and clear.

God was saying, stop putting up barriers to people of other nations! Stop making them act like you in order to come into the kingdom of God. Instead, you need to embrace them into the family of God.

You see, what people ate and who they ate it with was very important back then. Eating with someone was no casual thing. Eating with someone meant that they were accepting you as friends. Sharing a meal meant that you were creating an alliance. Refusing to eat with someone meant that you were distancing yourself from relationship with them. The customs of the Jews were keeping people out of the kingdom of God. The Jews did not associate with non-Jews, and so they never bridged that gap so they never got a chance to tell them about God. See, it wasn’t about the eating, it was about accepting people into God’s family without reservation.

And that brings us to the first tenant of our vision here at Resonate Church: EMBRACED

God cannot move fully unless we are willing to embrace each other, putting aside our cultural preferences, unless we are willing to accept people who do not fit into our paradigm of someone we’d want to associate with. Each of us have different walls we put up. Some of us have racial walls, even if we may not know that we have them. We have preconceived notions about people about all kinds of other things like age, income, education, or even politics.

Galatians 3:28 says this

There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.

Notice that Paul, in his letter to the Galatians, erases, racial barriers, socioeconomic barriers, and gender barriers in the kingdom of God. He’s saying that none of that superficial stuff matters in the kingdom of God.

Almost anything can be a barrier to keep us from relationship with people. There are many many people in the world who will not step foot inside a church because of the judgement they have experienced from people in the name of Jesus Christ.

That is really sad. Tell me this: Why are we, as believers, surprised when unbelievers act like unbelievers? We should not be surprised. We were never called to make judgments about people who are outside of the truth, but we do it all the time.

Later on, in Paul’s teachings, the only reason he gives where we are to distance ourselves from people is when they claim to walk in the ways of Jesus, but they disobey his word. If you wanna look it up it’s in 1 Corinthians 5:11.

See, people of the world should not be threatening to us. They are merely doing what is in their nature to do. We should be excited when we encounter them because we have the remedy! And it is by kindness that we lead people to repentance. Just like it was through kindness that God led us to repentance.

I cannot help but wonder if this thing with Cornelius also helped soften Peter’s heart into accepting this formerly murderous guy Saul into the family of apostles. It was key that Saul, who later changed his name to Paul, was fully accepted. He was meant to be one of the up and coming church pillars to carry on the ministry after many of the other apostles had died.

So, what happened when Peter finally embraced his Roman brother Cornelius in to the family of God? The power of God fell and they received exponential expansion in the kingdom movement. This brings us to our second point: the early church was IMPASSIONED. This is the second tenant of our vision. We are impassioned with the passions of Jesus and then that passion spreads to others like wildfire.

As Peter was impassioned by his new revelation of God, he began to speak it boldly to anyone who would listen. Check out what happens when Peter expresses his passion.

take a look at verse 44

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

When your passion is released in the way that God has made you, whether it is through speaking, through creating. or through that thing that is in your heart to do, you attract the power of the Holy Spirit. It was while Peter was speaking passionately, that the Power of the Holy Spirit fell.

When the Holy Spirit came, they were immediately EMPOWERED. Which is the third tenant of our vision.

Now, Peter had obviously been empowered by the Holy Spirit before this day. Like I said, he was raising the dead and healing the sick. I think that counts as empowerment. But when Peter got a revelation of those he needed to embrace, more and more people also caught that fiery passion. When he released his passion for this new revelation, many others were empowered, Jews and Gentiles alike.

in verse 45 and 46 it says this,

The circumcised (or Jewish) believers who had come with Peter were astonished that the gift of the Holy Spirit had been poured out even on Gentiles (or non-Jews). For they heard them speaking in tongues and praising God.

So then they were like, “Well, this is obviously the work of the God we know. I mean God’s done this kind of thing before, back in Acts 2.
I guess this is proof enough for us that God accepts them. We might as well baptize them with water and let them come into our family. Who could argue with that?”

As leaders of Resonate Church, we think it would be great if you were embraced into God’s family. And we know that it would be even better if you were impassioned to live out your calling by expressing your passion in the way that God created you. But, the only way that Resonate Church is going to create a movement in Alaska and in other parts of the world is if we are ourselves empowered and if we are willing to help others walk in the same power that we enjoy.

We can only embrace others when we are fully aware of how God has embraced us. We can only impassion others when we ourselves are full of passion for Jesus and for the calling we have. We can only empower others if we ourselves are walking in the power of the Holy Spirit.

In Anchorage, Alaska, there are people who are just looking for someone to accept them as they are, regardless of their sin, regardless of their demographics, or their strange hangups.

In Anchorage, Alaska, there are people who are void of passion. They are eeking out an existence, but they may not even realize they can have meaning and purpose in their lives. They may not realize that God has created them to do something that only they can do.

In Anchorage, Alaska, there are people who long for power, to find power in all the wrong ways. They try to exert power in their relationships, in their occupations, or even through hobbies. But the legit power they are seeking is in no one else than the Holy Spirit that we have access to through Jesus Christ.

Are you willing to join with us on mission to make Resonate Church a movement that sweeps across Alaska and even extends to different places of the world?

You can join with us in prayer, serve with us, or invest in us financially. Thank you for your support!

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s