Elders: Glenn and Doug
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|Sermon Discussion Notes (“The Danger of Success” – Acts 10:17-26)|
|Written by Albert Cerussi|
|Sunday, 21 August 2011 18:47|
We have all done it. We hear a message, a sermon. At the time we heard it, we think about how God has spoken to us (or maybe we check our email …). Then a few days later we have amnesia – we can’t remember what the message was about, let alone let God change our hearts. The goal of our ministry is to equip and transform, and sermons play a role in achieving this goal.
In an attempt to help you think more deeply about these sermons – and thus draw closer to the Lord Himself – we are trying an experiment. We have prepared for you some “discussion notes” on the messages. You might try to go over them yourself, or maybe in a group. Perhaps you will want to re-listen to the message. But in the end it is our desire that it will help you become more like our Lord Yeshua.
In case you missed it, or need a refresher, you can listen to the original sermon here.
Doug started out by documenting some “successful preachers” and detailed how each of them fell into sin. They denied the allegations at first, but eventually confessed to sins that disqualified them from pastoral ministry.
What are the metrics for their “success?” Why do people call these ministries “successful?”
Doug then outlined how Peter had great success in his ministry. To name a few of the events chronicled in Acts: (a) The “Shavuot sermon” with thousands of Jews accepting the Gospel, (b) bold healing of the lame man, (c) people sold possessions and brought the money to the apostles, (d) Peter performed signs and wonders.
Why do we think these events can be defined as successful? How are these events (and attitudes) different from those surrounding the fallen preachers described above?
Do you think these ministry successes went to Peter’s head? (hint: look at verse Acts 10:25-26).
Have you ever let ministry successes or ministry titles go to your head? Can you recall what led you to “let success get to your head?” Have you exalted yourself or exalted the Lord?
Scripture records that Cornelius was a man who gave alms: the Hebrew equivalent of the Greek word used here is “Tzedakah.” That is the Hebrew word printed on the side of the box we use to receive offerings.
Given that Cornelius was a Centurion (part of a large Roman military unit), and not Jewish, what do you think his alms says about his attitude and his heart?