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Summary: This sermon enourages us to never give up hope--even when things look their worst, because God IS in control!

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God Will Take Care of You!

Acts 9:23-31

June 2, 2002

Intro:

A. [A Problem Becomes a Solution, Citation: Christine R. Wilson, Eureka, CA, Christian Reader, "Lite Fare."]

I stood dismayed in the kitchen of our newly acquired country home--I had accidentally submerged my left foot in a tray of fresh wall paint.

A few minutes later, as I took off my comfortable, hole-in-the-toe painting sneakers, I regretted that I hadn’t brought along another pair of socks. I would have to sport a "Country Orange" big toe in my sandals when I picked up my four little sons from the sitter’s.

When I arrived at her home, she suggested that since they were still napping, I do a little shopping and stop back for them later.

I don’t often get an offer like that, so I wasted no time in heading for the department store.

On the way, I remembered my toe.

It would had been embarrassing to explain my clumsiness, my orange toe, and my toeless sneaker.

At the store, however, I quickly made my way to the house wares department.

There I found that all things really do "work together for good."

I was able to perfectly match the new kitchen dish cloths and towels to my Country Orange toe.

B. Mrs. Wilson’s humorous embarrassment worked out for the good, but things in life aren’t always as easy as a little embarrassment.

1. Often life is a lot more difficult than just embarrassing.

2. And it is often easy to question where God has gone.

3. Sometimes we wonder if God really is there, if He really is in control.

4. I’m sure that it would have been easy for Saul to think these things.

5. Last week we studied the conversion of Saul as he was on the road to Damascus at the beginning of Acts 9.

6. Today we look at the things that happened to him immediately after he was saved.

7. Predictably, Satan attempted to hit Saul hard and stop the plans that God had for Saul.

8. The first thing that we see happening after Saul was saved was…

I. The Jews in Damascus tried to kill Saul, but God took care of him.

Acts 9:23-25, After many days had gone by, the Jews conspired to kill him, 24 but Saul learned of their plan. Day and night they kept close watch on the city gates in order to kill him. 25 But his followers took him by night and lowered him in a basket through an opening in the wall.

A. Last week we studied where Saul got saved.

1. Saul (at the beginning of chapter nine) was persecuting the church.

2. Saul had received permission from the Jerusalem courts to go to Damascus and arrest believers under the threat of murder and take them back to court in Jerusalem.

3. Saul was arresting believers in Jesus Christ.

4. Saul was breathing murderous threats against believers in Jesus Christ.

5. Saul was a Jew and believed very strongly in God, but he also very strongly believed that Jesus was not God’s Son.

6. But on his way to Damascus Jesus appeared to Saul and blinded him.

7. Jesus physically blinded Saul to let him know that he was spiritually blind.

8. Jesus sent a man named Ananias to Saul to lay hands on Saul for his healing and that he might receive the Holy Spirit.

9. Saul stayed several days with the believers in Damascus and began preaching in the Jewish synagogues.

10. Saul began preaching in the synagogues that Jesus is the Son of God.

11. Saul became more and more powerful.

12. Saul baffled the Jesus living Damascus by proving that Jesus is the Christ.

13. At the beginning of the chapter, Saul zealously believed that Jesus was not the Son of God, but by the end of the chapter he was proving that Jesus IS the Son of God.

B. Things were looking wonderful for Saul.

1. Christ made a complete change in Saul’s life.

2. Saul went from persecuting Christ to preaching Christ.

3. Saul went from trying to do away with Christians to trying to convert more Christians—Saul was a changed man.

4. Saul had been changed by the saving power of Jesus Christ.

C. But after many days had gone by, the Jews conspired to kill him.

1. Saul’s life was utterly changed by the power of the gospel, but things quickly turned sour for him.

2. Saul’s was on top of the world; he was having a mountain-top experience.

3. Saul was radically changed to the core of his being and he was doing everything he could so that others could receive what he had.

4. But predictably, Satan would not be content to just let Saul slip away so easily.

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