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Life's Ups and Downs

(347)

Sermon shared by Steve Shepherd

February 2002
Summary: Paulís life was full of ups and downs: He was a proud man, a humbled man and a new man.
Audience: General adults
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all...what? All sinners and in need of divine mercy.

ILL.- A guide was showing a group of people through a famous art gallery. He pointed to a wastebasket in the corner and said, "That wastebasket is where aspiring young artists discard their paintings after they have looked at the works of the Masters."

When we look at the Master as portrayed in the gospel accounts, we canít help but be humbled. When we see him in all his fullness and beauty, we realize how poor we really are.

Paul was a humbled man. We should be humbled too.

III. HE WAS A NEW MAN

ILL.- Glen was having a discussion with his friend Rich. He said, "I was hypnotized last week." Rich said, "What does that mean?" Glen said, "To hypnotize a man is to get him under your power and make him do whatever you want." Rich replied, "Thatís not hypnotism, thatís marriage."

Some people think that when they enter into marriage they are going to hypnotize their mate and make them do whatever they want. Both men and women sometimes think that way. NOT!

It doesnít work that way and we know it. The truth is: No human being can change another person. Only the divine can change the thinking and life of the human.

Acts 4:13 "When they saw the courage of Peter and John and realized that they were unschooled, ordinary men, they were astonished and they took note that these men had been with Jesus."

This association with Jesus made a difference in their lives. They were different men. They were new men. And they were better men.

We do influence others with our lives and we should. We may not be able to change people like Jesus did, but we can influence others for the better.

ILL.- As a student at Ozark Christian College in the 60ís I was greatly impressed with certain preacher/professors. Some of my professors just sparkled with enthusiasm, energy and encouragement. One was Don DeWelt, professor of O.T. and N.T.

I was preaching at a small church on Sundays while I was a student. And I asked Brother Don DeWelt if he would preach at our 5th Sunday rally in the afternoon. He agreed. When Don preached that afternoon he was at his very best. He was very humorous and yet very inspirational and challenging.

The next Sunday when I returned to the pulpit at my church I sounded just like Don DeWelt in regard to my mannerisms, voice, etc. I AM SAYING THAT WHETHER WE REALIZE IT OR NOT, WE DO INFLUENCE OTHERS!

Paul became a new man through Christ. How did that happen? Through another man named Ananias.

Acts 9:10-11 "In Damascus there was a disciple named Ananias. The Lord called to him in a vision, ĎAnanias!í ĎGo to the house of Judas and ask for a man named Saul..." Ananias went as God commanded.

Some people think that Saul was converted to Christ when he was knocked down by the light from heaven. If this is true, then why did Ananias say to Saul three days later, Acts 22:16 "And now what are you waiting for? Get up, be baptized and wash your sins away, calling on
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