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Change The World Part 2 “BE THE CHANGE YOU SEEK”

July 18, 2011

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Change The World Part 2

“BE THE CHANGE YOU SEEK”

Listen to the Sermon

Acts 9:10-19a, NLT 10-19a

10 Now there was a believer in Damascus named Ananias. The Lord spoke to him in a vision, calling, “Ananias!”

“Yes, Lord!” he replied.

11 The Lord said, “Go over to Straight Street, to the house of Judas. When you get there, ask for a man from Tarsus named Saul. He is praying to me right now. 12 I have shown him a vision of a man named Ananias coming in and laying hands on him so he can see again.”

13 “But Lord,” exclaimed Ananias, “I’ve heard many people talk about the terrible things this man has done to the believersin Jerusalem! 14 And he is authorized by the leading priests to arrest everyone who calls upon your name.”

15 But the Lord said, “Go, for Saul is my chosen instrument to take my message to the Gentiles and to kings, as well as to the people of Israel. 16 And I will show him how much he must suffer for my name’s sake.”

17 So Ananias went and found Saul. He laid his hands on him and said, “Brother Saul, the Lord Jesus, who appeared to you on the road, has sent me so that you might regain your sight and be filled with the Holy Spirit.” 18 Instantly something like scales fell from Saul’s eyes, and he regained his sight. Then he got up and was baptized. 19 Afterward he ate some food and regained his strength.”

Change

according to Webster’s Dictionary

“To make Radically Different: To Transform”

No one likes change unless we are the one who wants it! But the fact is we are in a state of constant change.

Change is Transformation in God’s economy. And to grow as a Christian we must be in a state of constant change or constant transformation.

Some fear change; some embrace it; others step on it lightly to see if it will hold their weight.

To follow Christ requires change, conversion, transformation.

Be. the change you seek!

Acts 9; 1-6

1 Meanwhile, Saul was uttering threats with every breath and was eager to kill the Lord’s followers. So he went to the high priest. 2 He requested letters addressed to the synagogues in Damascus, asking for their cooperation in the arrest of any followers of the Way he found there. He wanted to bring them—both men and women—back to Jerusalem in chains.

3 As he was approaching Damascus on this mission, a light from heaven suddenly shone down around him. 4 He fell to the ground and heard a voice saying to him, “Saul! Saul! Why are you persecuting me?”

5 “Who are you, lord?” Saul asked.

And the voice replied, “I am Jesus, the one you are persecuting! 6 Now get up and go into the city, and you will be told what you must do.”

We often hear about Saul’s conversion and the fact that God changed his name from Saul to Paul but today we see as Paul Harvey would say, “the rest of the story.”

Saul is a bad man. He is responsible for the killing of Christians. Some of you didn’t know this until now but Paul, the one who wrote more of the New Testament than any other writer; he was having Christians killed when God finally got his attention.

I Timothy 1: 15-16

15 This is a trustworthy saying, and everyone should accept it: “Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners”—and I am the worst of them all16 But God had mercy on me so that Christ Jesus could use me as a prime example of his great patience with even the worst sinners. Then others will realize that they, too, can believe in him and receive eternal life.

In light of this news, God says to Ananias, go down to Straight Street, lay hands on this man Saul, who has been having people killed so that he can regain his sight.

And Ananias is saying “say what”?

Let me get this straight, “you want me, a good man, a man who fears God, to go down to Straight Street and put “these hands” on a man who would like to have killed me yesterday?

And you want me to do this so that he can regain his sight, so that he can be healed.

And Ananias said “but Lord” he is a bad man.

Who is it that you don’t like?

Who is it that you think is a bad person?

Who is it that you don’t think deserves to go to heaven when they die?

Who is it that has hurt you or someone that you love?

God is saying right now, this is who you need to go to and place your hands of healing on them!

This is who you need to go to and offer forgiveness!

This is who you need to go to and tell them that even the chief of sinners can be forgiven and they can be too.

And you say “but God”

And God says,

Go. Get out of your comfort zone.

Acts 9: 13-15a

13 “But Lord,” exclaimed Ananias, “I’ve heard many people talk about the terrible things this man has done to the believersin Jerusalem! 14 And he is authorized by the leading priests to arrest everyone who calls upon your name.”

15 But the Lord said, “Go,

No “if’s, ands, or buts”

But he doesn’t deserve to be forgiven!

Neither do you!

We have to get it through to our understanding, we are not good people.

The Bible is full of illustrations of God showing mercy and grace to bad people.

Moses was a murderer.

Rahab was a prostitute.

David was an adulterer and a murderer.

Saul who became Apostle Paul was guilty of murder.

Jesus is our example

Jesus hanging on the cross,

speaking of the people who had just,

stripped him naked,

mocked him,

spit on him,

beaten him almost to death,

and hanged him spread eagle on cross beams,

Jesus said in Luke 23:34a

34 “Father, forgive them, for they don’t know what they are doing.”

Matthew 5: 43-47 Jesus says,

43 “You have heard the law that says, ‘Love your neighbor’and hate your enemy. 44 But I say, love your enemies! Pray for those who persecute you! 45 In that way, you will be acting as true children of your Father in heaven. For he gives his sunlight to both the evil and the good, and he sends rain on the just and the unjust alike. 46 If you love only those who love you, what reward is there for that? Even corrupt tax collectors do that much. 47 If you are kind only to your friends, how are you different from anyone else? Even pagans do that.

“We must get beyond being the judge.” Ty Harrison

God will do the judging at the appropriate time. We have the responsibility to minister to EVERYONE!

Go and be the change that you seek

 

Do.

Do it because God knows what He is doing.

Acts 9:15

15 But the Lord said, “Go, for Saul is my chosen instrument to take my message to the Gentiles and to kings, as well as to the people of Israel.

God is the author of Creation, He knows exactly what He is doing.

God said go because Saul, this murderous man is my chosen instrument. God said I am going to use Saul to tell the world about myself.

Who is it that God is asking you to go to?

Does it seem crazy in your mind?

God knows what He is doing.

The person God is burdening your heart with right now may just be the next John Wesley or the next Billy Graham.

They may just be the next Apostle Paul.

He or she may just be a World Changer.

The person or people God is placing on your heart may not be anyone that you know.

It may be a

people group you have had a hard time accepting.

people of a different Race.

people of a different Social Standing.

People of a different Political Party.

Each day, as followers of Christ, we have the potential to serve as change agents of God. Who knows whom God needs us to befriend today. Transform the world. Be the change you seek.

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