Summary: There was a missionary whose willing obedience opened the door for the early church to flourish! His name: Ananias! He did not leave the country or his region, his mission took him across town! We can do MISSIONS right where we are!
Date Written: June 09, 2015
Date Preached: June 14, 2015
Where Preached: Evergreen Baptist Church (AM)
Series Title: Miscellaneous Missions
Sermon Title: Ananias – Portrait of Leaving The Comfort Zone!
Sermon Text: Acts 9:10-18 [HCSB]
Now we all know about Saul, who became Paul and what he contributed to the early church and we have been blessed for centuries for HIS contribution to the Gospel and the church, however, this morning I gonna introduce you to the MAN who one of the most instrumental believers in the early church….
I want us to look at Ananias this morning and what a powerful contribution HE made to God’s work!
By show of hands, how many of you here like to be comfortable? How many of you here have a place where you feel most comfortable… church, work, school, a favorite chair, couch… bed?
In America today MUCH of our lives are spent trying to GET comfortable and I believe it is safe to say that we all LIKE to be comfortable—right?
Well let me share a truth about Christianity that may upset a few of you today…
God does not care about how ‘comfortable’ we are or how comfortable we want to be! He has NOT called us to be comfortable in serving Him! WE are called by Christ to serve in obedience, regardless of the situation!
Saul (Paul) was one who knew about being uncomfortable in service to God, he was willing to serve God NO matter where it took him and no matter what it cost him…
Many believers today find it very UNCOMFORTABLE when they are called to go on missions and be evangelistic! I bet there are several that are sitting here today who would get physically uncomfortable just talking about sharing their faith with their neighbor!
While we are ALL not called to go out on a mission trip… God does call ALL believers to share their faith, regardless of where you live or who you are! We him telling us this in Matt 28:19-20a:
19Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20teaching them to observe everything I have commanded you...
He also instructed those who follow Him that we are ALL His witnesses! He calls us to be on mission for Him throughout our entire life, even if we never leave our own “Jerusalem.”
Look what He told His disciples just before He ascended into heaven… [read/show Acts 1:8 here]
8But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come on you, and you will be My witnesses in Jerusalem, in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”
However, it does not matter how uncomfortable this makes us, we are still called by God into His service…
Called to serve as witnesses for Jesus in our everyday life!
Called to serve as a witness at our job.
Called to serve as a witness in our schools or our communities…
With that being said:
MANY believers are NOT willing to be a witness…
MANY believers are NOT willing to go on missions…
Why is this? I believe it is because this calling takes us OUT of our comfort zone and MOST believers (especially here in America) are just not willing to leave that place of comfort and safety!
I want to tell you that this morning God is calling you to step out and trust Him and understand it is TIME TO LEAVE OUR COMFORT ZONE!
Today we are here to celebrate and send out 16 people to go on mission for Jesus! This morning I want us to look at a passage of Scripture that speaks about the mission trip a single individual took back when the church was very young…
Let me give you just a little background about our passage today, there had been a man named Saul who was commissioned by the High Priest to persecute the Christians! He gave him authority to go to Damascus and find Christians and put them in jail or have them stoned.
Saul was on his way to the city when his trip was interrupted! Jesus met Saul on the road to Damascus and Saul was physically blinded by the sheer glory of Jesus’ presence!
Jesus challenged Saul to serve Him and for him to go, wait in the city until someone comes to him. Saul is led by those he had traveled with into Damascus…
As we take up the story in our passage this morning Saul is still sitting and waiting in a house and STILL blind! In another house across town Jesus is visiting is another man! His name – Ananias!
Now Paul is basically a ‘rock star’ in Christian circles but I want us to focus on ‘the other guy’ this morning… I want us to focus on a man willing to take on a mission that had all the looks of tragedy…