Summary: As God called Ananias to reach Saul, God is calling your name.
GOD IS CALLING YOUR NAME November 19, 2008
Illus: Video: Pedro for President: You might not be a Pedro or a Napoleon, but God is calling your name!(www.wingclips.com)
Review: Acts 1-8
• Tough Times: Stephen’s death starts a revolution
• Charles Spurgeon used to say that Satan never kicks a dead horse.
• Turning point of the Church: Saul is blinded so he can see
• Saul is knocked down so he can get up (a new creation!)
What is the solution? ONE MAN: Ananias prays for Saul: Acts 9:10-19
Ananias was a sincere disciple, but he was fearful of approaching Saul. Even when things seem the worst, God will use us to reach specific people in specific places of power and influence.
I. Listen: God is calling your name:
Are you a good listener? Two men were talking over coffee one day. One said: "I’m concerned about my wife. She talks to herself a lot these days." The other said: "Mine does too, but she doesn’t know it. She thinks I’m listening.”
• How do you feel when someone calls your name? Charles!
• Ananias was not famous or a big shot, but he was a listening
• When God called, he answered. Here I am Lord…
• God listens to us, shouldn’t we listen to Him? (double your prayer time)
• God called Isaiah: “Who shall I send?” Isaiah responded, “Here I am, Lord send me!” Is. 6:8
• God is still calling people by name – He is calling you. (Put down your IPOD)
• Do you hear God calling your name? Listen… Say, Here I am!
Author Jill Briscoe, in "Here Am I Lord, Send Somebody Else," wrote "God transports us to a situation. There is no such thing as happenstance in the life of a child of God. He wants to use weak people who love and obey Him to transform the society to which they have been transported."
II. Specific places, specific people:
• The Christian life is not to be vague periods of fog with brief moments of clarity
• Throughout history, God uses specific people and specific places to accomplish his purposes.
• Ananias is just a critical as Peter and Paul.
• Illus: Postal carrier Linda Harrell wasn’t supposed to be there, but seconds later, a baby fell from a window into her outstretched arms.
• If we will listen, God will give us specific instructions about friends, relationships, jobs, school, ministry...
• Illus: We hate instructions, but we need to read them!
III. Some of the things God calls us to will be scary.
• Perfect love overcomes fear: God will not ask us to do anything outside of His love.
• God gives Ananias reassurance: This is important.
• Saul would be God’s messenger to Gentiles and kings!
• Illus: 1970 A student prayed to stop a racial riot at Longview High School.
IV. This is personal: He calls him “Brother Saul” and he lays hands on him.
• At this point, Saul would have been open to anything
• There are some people that you could not imagine reaching – but we will.
• He laid hands on him! We need to lay hands on people.
• Illus: If Muslims are coming to Jesus in a cemetery in Indonesia, surely we can reach people here. (Center for Ministry to Muslims)
V. Scales fell off: The Holy Spirit brings power and vision
• Some people have scales on their eyes – only the Holy Spirit can fix.
• Illus: Sin: The mall – Fredericks of Hollywood next to the Children’s store
• A new way of seeing the world…lost
• Sympathy: Have you ever watched someone come to Christ? (Lost Boy video by Greg Laurie)
Does He Show Through? One Sunday on their way home from church, a little girl turned to her mother and said, "Mommy, the preacher’s sermon this morning confused me." The mother said, "Oh? Why is that?" The little girl replied, "Well, he said that God is bigger than we are. Is that true?" The mother replied, "Yes, that’s true honey." "And he also said that God lives in us? Is that true, Mommy?" Again the mother replied, "Yes." "Well," said the little girl, "if God is bigger than us and He lives in us, wouldn’t He show through?"
Conclusion: If we are going to see change in our world, someone will have to be an Isaiah, a Moses, an Ananias and hear the call of God.
• You do not have to someone famous or important, just willing and obedient.
• You don’t have to be old to hear God.
• The young boy, Samuel, heard God call his name, even when the word of God was rare.
• Don’t leave it to someone else. We need to hear from God! May you hear God calling your name!