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Help People Find and Follow Jesus. This is the vision of Mission City Church, led by Pastor Josh Poole based in Largo, FL.
“Any belonging to the Way”, Anyone that is a believer!
Significant to note that believers were spreading so much that Saul sought permission to go after them!
This encounter that Saul had with God was so significant that Luke wrote about it 3 different times in the book of Acts!
Here in Chapter 9
Again in Chapter 22
And finally in Chapter 26
This turnaround is one of the most significant in all the Bible because:
Saul went from persecutor to persecuted
From this encounter, Paul will go on to write 13 of the 27 new testament chapters!
Paul was not only disinterested in the “way” He eagerly desired to destroy it!
He wasn’t seeking Jesus when Jesus sought him. We might say that Saul decided against Jesus when Jesus decided for Saul.
This leads us to understand that all it takes is 1 encounter with the Lord of Lords: Jesus Christ to have an everlasting change!
“Nothing remains the same when it’s touched by you”
Have you had an encounter with the Lord that has left you changed?
This account brings great hope to anyone who has counted themselves unworthy for any reason.
Heavy persecution of not only the innocent, but of believers.
In the case of Ananias, the vision from God was specific. God told him about:
· A specific street (the street called Straight)
· A specific house (the house of Judas)
· A specific man (one called Saul of Tarsus)
· A specific thing the man was doing (he is praying)
· A specific vision the man had (in a vision he has seen a man named Ananias)
When God is specific with you, be bold in doing what he has told you to do!
Isn't it cute when we try to reason with God…
I know you are the God of the universe, but perhaps you didn’t know about this… lol
Ananias almost asked, “God, do you know what kind of guy this Saul is?”
We do this as kids with our parents and we do it as adults with God.
“Chosen instrument of mine!”
When no one else believed in him……… He was a chosen instrument of God!!
When Saul could see – both physically and spiritually – he immediately wanted to identify with Jesus and with the disciples of Jesus by being baptized.
After this the Jews wanted to kill Paul and the Christians were hesitant to let him in, afraid he was fooling them!
But Paul showed fruit of true transformation:
The atmosphere for multiplication has fear and comfort!
Fear of the Lord and Comfort of the Holy Spirit!
We desperately need both of these.
Remember this is still in the very very early stages of the early church!
Resistance has always been ready to fight what God is doing in the hearts of his people
Takeaway from this chapter:
More confirmation about the truth of Jesus
Paul was already wealthy and of high stature among the religious leaders
He had nothing by worldly terms to gain & Everything to lose!
People do not give that up for suffering without seeing the eternal value
Sometimes God moves on our hearts to do things that do not make any sense to the world!
Today I want us to walk away knowing that God has a plan for your life
We believe the Word points to the truth that we all have a purpose!
I love Paul's question when he has his encounter with God:
Who are you and what do you want me to do?
Something else that stands out is that Saul was blinded: Being led by someone to Damascus: He later would lead the spiritual Blind to Jesus!
God is going to take your mess and make it your message!!!
And if you are praying for someone for whom it seems to you “there is NO HOPE”, God can turn any situation around!
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