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Sermon Notes: 7/24/22


 

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"Meanwhile, Saul was still breathing out murderous threats against the Lord’s disciples. He went to the high priest and asked him for letters to the synagogues in Damascus, so that if he found any there who belonged to the Way, whether men or women, he might take them as prisoners to Jerusalem.”

‭‭Acts‬ ‭9:1-2‬

“As he neared Damascus on his journey, suddenly a light from heaven flashed around him. He fell to the ground and heard a voice say to him, “Saul, Saul, why do you persecute me?””

‭‭Acts‬ ‭9:3-4‬ ‭

““Who are you, Lord?” Saul asked. “I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting,” he replied. “Now get up and go into the city, and you will be told what you must do.””

‭‭Acts‬ ‭9:5-6‬ ‭‬‬

“The men traveling with Saul stood there speechless; they heard the sound but did not see anyone. Saul got up from the ground, but when he opened his eyes he could see nothing. So they led him by the hand into Damascus. For three days he was blind, and did not eat or drink anything.”

‭‭Acts‬ ‭9:7-9‬

‬‬ “In Damascus there was a disciple named Ananias. The Lord called to him in a vision, “Ananias!” “Yes, Lord,” he answered.”

‭‭Acts‬ ‭9:10‬

‬‬ “The Lord told him, “Go to the house of Judas on Straight Street and ask for a man from Tarsus named Saul, for he is praying. In a vision he has seen a man named Ananias come and place his hands on him to restore his sight.””

‭‭Acts‬ ‭9:11-12‬

‬‬ ““Lord,” Ananias answered, “I have heard many reports about this man and all the harm he has done to your holy people in Jerusalem. And he has come here with authority from the chief priests to arrest all who call on your name.””

‭‭Acts‬ ‭9:13-14‬

‬‬ “But the Lord said to Ananias, “Go! This man is my chosen instrument to proclaim my name to the Gentiles and their kings and to the people of Israel. I will show him how much he must suffer for my name.””

‭‭Acts‬ ‭9:15-16‬

“Then Ananias went to the house and entered it. Placing his hands on Saul, he said, “Brother Saul, the Lord—Jesus, who appeared to you on the road as you were coming here—has sent me so that you may see again and be filled with the Holy Spirit.””

‭‭Acts‬ ‭9:17‬

‬‬ “Immediately, something like scales fell from Saul’s eyes, and he could see again. He got up and was baptized, and after taking some food, he regained his strength. Saul spent several days with the disciples in Damascus.”

‭‭Acts‬ ‭9:18-19‬

I want to speak to you this morning from this subject…

WHAT THE ENEMY DOESN’T WANT YOU TO KNOW ABOUT YOU.

Upon readings today’s text, I find it mighty amazing that for such a massive assignment, the calling of the Apostle Paul, that Jesus didn’t call on John the disciple the one whom He loved. I found it mighty strange that Jesus didn’t call on Peter the water walker, the IMPULSIVE one to meet Saul the impulsive one. I thought for sure that Jesus would’ve called on his half brother James to play his part in converting Saul from the Christian serial killer to the Apostle Paul, who would go on to write 1/3 of the New Testament writings, but that’s not what He did. For this assignment of ALL assignments, Jesus shoulder tapped an unknown to us in the moment by the name of Ananias.

I believe that God strategically used this regular unknown disciple at this time, not one of His Apostles who were eye witnesses of His life, death, and resurrection, but instead Jesus chose a disciple just like us to take on this massive assignment to remind us that….

📝 You’re just right to be USED BY GOD.

And that my friends is exactly what the enemy doesn’t want you to know about you!

When it comes to your past. With the way that you were raised. With your upbringing. Where you are in life. What you know, and what you DON’T KNOW—You’re just right to be USED BY GOD.

📝 The enemy desires for you to send the call of God on your life to VOICEMAIL.

That’s why from a young age he told you that you weren’t good enough. That’s why from a young age he told you that you would never amount to nothing. From a young age he introduced you to what he called no big deal fun, that grew up to be big deal addictions, then condemned you for not being able to shake it. All the while he was just afraid that someday that you would DISCOVER who you really are, but todays that day, and I’m going to tell you what the enemy doesn’t want you to know to know about you!!!

How many times has he told you that God has forgotten about you? How many times has he told you that it’s too late, or that God doesn’t see you? I say to you today, the devil is a liar! Watch this…

Up until this point, Ananias was unknown to us BUT NOT UNKNOWN TO GOD.

"IN DAMASCUS there was A DISCIPLE NAMED ANANIAS…”

‭‭Acts‬ ‭9:10‬

Here’s what the enemy doesn’t want you to know about you…

📝 The Lord knows WHERE YOU ARE.

📝 The Lord knows YOU BY NAME.

📝 The Lord has an ASSIGNMENT for you.

The Lord knows where you are…

““Now then, tell my servant David, ‘This is what the Lord Almighty says: I TOOK YOU FROM THE PASTURE, from tending the flock, and appointed you ruler over my people Israel.”

‭‭2 Samuel‬ ‭7:8‬ ‭

The Lord knows you by name…

“But now, thus says the Lord, who created you, O Jacob, And He who formed you, O Israel: “Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I HAVE CALLED YOU BY YOUR MAME; YOU ARE MINE.

‭‭Isaiah‬ ‭43:1‬ ‭‬‬

The Lord has an assignment for you…

““I knew you before I formed you in your mother’s womb. Before you were born I set you apart and appointed you as my prophet to the nations.””

‭‭Jeremiah‬ ‭1:5‬ ‭NLT‬‬

The Lord knows where you are. The Lord knows you by name. The Lord has an assignment for you. You’re just right to be used by God.

I’m not a Peter God. I’m not a James. And to be honest I quite often don’t feel like a John, the one you love. See, here’s what the enemy doesn’t want you to know about you…

📝 God is looking for ORIGINAL, ORDINARY, OBEDIENT people.

Original…

‬‬ “In Damascus there was a disciple named Ananias. The Lord called to him in a vision, “Ananias!”

“…I HAVE CALLED YOU BY YOUR MAME…

‭‭Isaiah‬ ‭43:1‬ ‭‬‬

📝 God called you BY NAME, not someone else’s NAME.

📝 God doesn’t show up for you to inform Him of WHO YOU AREN’T. God shows up to inform you of WHO YOU ARE.

The name Ananias means one whom Jehovah has graciously given. It also means answered by The Lord’.

The Lord graciously gave Ananias to Saul in his time of need.

‬‬ “The Lord told him, “Go to the house of Judas on Straight Street and ask for a man from Tarsus named Saul, for he is praying. In a vision he has seen a man named Ananias come and place his hands on him to restore his sight.””

‭‭Acts‬ ‭9:11-12‬

Ananias means answered by the Lord. While Saul was praying, Ananias was the answer.

If God wanted Peter to be there, Peter would’ve been there. If God wanted James or John to be there, He would’ve transported them there. This was an assignment for the yet to be known Ananias. You too have been graciously given to your sphere of influence for such a time as this. You too are an answer to someone’s problem. God has a particular assignment for you, but you keep comparing yourself to other people. God has a particular assignment for you, but you keep showing up in other people’s armor, in other people’s styles, and in what you think people want you to be.

📝 The promise isn’t on the PREFERRED version of you. The promise is on the ORIGINAL you.

📝 You can’t TRAVEL through the Kingdom of God using someone else’s PASSPORT.

God is looking for original people. God Is looking for ordinary people.

“Now when the men of the Sanhedrin (Jewish High Court) saw the confidence and boldness of Peter and John, and grasped the fact that they were uneducated and untrained [ORDINARY] men, they were astounded, and began to recognize that they had been with Jesus.”

‭‭Acts‬ ‭4:13‬ ‭‬‬

God is looking for original, ordinary, OBEDIENT people.

📝 Obedience is taking God AT HIS WORD.

“But Simon answered and said to Him, “Master, we have toiled all night and caught nothing; nevertheless AT YOUR WORD I will let down the net.””

‭‭Luke‬ ‭5:5‬

AND WHEN THEY HAD DONE THIS, they caught a great number of fish, and their net was breaking.”

‭‭Luke‬ ‭5:6‬ ‭‬‬

It was their obedience that produced the miraculous catch.

“If you are willing and obedient, You shall eat the good of the land;”

‭‭Isaiah‬ ‭1:19‬ ‭

After this original, ordinary, obedient disciple, who was never mentioned until now, took God at His Word, Acts 9:17 happened.

“Then Ananias went to the house and entered it. Placing his hands on Saul, he said, “Brother Saul, the Lord—Jesus, who appeared to you on the road as you were coming here—has sent me so that you may see again and be filled with the Holy Spirit.””

‭‭Acts‬ ‭9:17‬

‬‬ “Immediately, something like scales fell from Saul’s eyes, and he could see again. He got up and was baptized, and after taking some food, he regained his strength. Saul spent several days with the disciples in Damascus.”

‭‭Acts‬ ‭9:18-19‬

I say to you today church…

Saul is waiting on you. The one’s who people thought would never be in the house of God. The one’s who people thought that God could never use. Saul is waiting on you.

The Bible says, "…and placing HIS HANDS on Saul…”

The same way that God used Ananias hands to touch Paul, is the same way…

GOD WANTS TO USE YOUR HANDS TO REACH HIS PEOPLE.

“…Placing his hands on Saul, HE SAID, “BROTHER SAUL…”

‭‭Acts‬ ‭9:17‬

Ananias said to Saul the former Christian murderer….BROTHER SAUL. He called him brother.

God wants to use His Word through your voice to usher His people into the Kingdom of God.

These hands? This voice? Do you know where these hands have been? Do you know the things that this voice of mine has said? I don’t know, but God does. The beautiful thing about God is, He knows all of these things about you, but still calls you by NAME, and not by your MESS.

Don’t allow your PAST to talk you out of what God desires to do through in the PRESENT, as well as in the FUTURE.

Here’s what the enemy doesn’t want you to know about you….

📝 You’ve been made WORTHY by the blood, WHOLE by His Word, and you just have to be WILLINGTO OBEY.

You’ve been made WORTHY by the blood, WHOLE by His Word, and you just have to be WILLING TO OBEY. You’re just right to be used by God.

“For you know that God paid a ransom to save you from the empty life you inherited from your ancestors. And it was not paid with mere gold or silver, which lose their value. IT WAS THE PRECIOUS BLOOD OF CHRIST, the sinless, spotless Lamb of God.”

‭‭1 Peter‬ ‭1:18-19‬

“God saved you by his grace when you believed. And you can’t take credit for this; it is a gift from God.”

‭‭Ephesians‬ ‭2:8‬ ‭

‬‬ “Salvation is not a reward for the good things we have done, so none of us can boast about it.”

‭‭Ephesians‬ ‭2:9‬ ‭

📝‬‬ “For we are God’s MASTERPIECE. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago.”

‭‭Ephesians‬ ‭2:10‬ ‭‬‬

📝 Who you ARE IN HIM, is greater than who you WERE WITHOUT HIM.

The enemy doesn’t want you to know this but God is looking for ORIGINAL, ORDINARY, OBEDIENT people. Don’t listen to his lies. You’ve been made WORTHY by the blood, WHOLE by His Word, and you just have to be WILLING TO OBEY. You’re just right to be used by God.

WILL YOU TAKE HIM AT HIS WORD?

Sometimes that’s the hardest thing to do but it’s what you have to do. I’ve committed so much sin in my life but Nevertheless if you say I’m forgiven, then I’m forgiven. I don’t see myself as a masterpiece, but nevertheless if you say I’m a masterpiece then I’m a masterpiece. I’ll take you at your Word.

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