Summary: Christian living 101. The essence of our life, knowing God the father through God the Son, in the power of God the Holy Spirit, should cause the effort and effect of our Life to Glorify God.
Intro: In a “Peanuts” comic strip, there was a conversation between Lucy and Charlie Brown. Lucy said that life is like a deck chair. Some place it so they can see where they are going; some place it so they can see where they have been; and some place it so they can see where they are at present. Charlie Brown’s reply: “I can’t even get mine unfolded.”
In the passage today we see Ananias as one who can do more than simply unfold his “deck chair.” He is sent to help Saul to unfold his deck chair.
Today we are looking back to the time of Jesus, Saul of Tarsus, and Ananias of Damascus. We are looking back some 1970 to 2000 years. But in looking back we can more clearly see our present and ultimately our future. In the lives of Ananias and Saul of Tarsus we are introduced to a very important class, Christian Living 101.
It is not preaching, it is not teaching, it is not attending Church on a regular basis. Please don’t misunderstand me, these all come out of true Christian living. They are inseparable from the life of a Christian, but they are not the core. They are the healthy out growth of the most important part of a Christian life. Knowing God the Father, through God the Son, living by the power of God the Spirit.
I. The Essence of Christian Living
The word essence can be defined as: The most important ingredient; the crucial element.
The most important ingredient in
Quality fudge is: a good cream
Quality bread is: good wheat
Quality candy is: a good sugar
The most important ingredient in Christian living is Christ. A relationship with God.
The key to any relationship is open communication. We see in this passage the essence of open communication with God!
A) God Speaks
1) We must then ask whom does God speak to?
a) In the Bible God speaks to all different types of people, pagans, Jews, lost, and saved.
b) In this passage God speaks to a Disciple. A follower of “The Way”
2) We see God is speaking to Ananias.
a) His name
Ananias: This comes from the Hebrew Hannaniah
1) It means “God has favored”
2) It was the name of the boy renamed Shadrach. God had favored him and three others by protecting them in the fire. (Daniel 1.6)
a) Ananias is to be the means by which Saul can experience the favor of God.
b) Ananias is prepared by God to be used to impact Saul’s life.
Lottie Moon was prepared by God to impact both the Chinese people and the Southern Baptist Convention.
The first ever Christmas offering had a goal of $2000.00
It collected $3315.26. Today it is one of the biggest offerings in the Southern Baptist Convention. Last Year Southern Baptist Gave $133,886,221.58. Why? It is a direct result of God preparing one woman to reach a nation and a denomination.
Who have you been prepared to Impact?
b) His background (Acts 22.12)
12 “Then a certain Ananias, a devout man according to the Law, “
1) Ananias was a man of God’s Word
12 “having a good testimony with all the Jews who dwelt there,”
2) Ananias was a man with a witness for God
“Testimony” – witness or evidence
He was a man with an evidence of God’s spirit living in him.
No wonder God chose to speak to him and through him!!
Note: Your pastors belief, as a Christian God will uses you so much more if you are a man or woman of God’s word, and also of God’s witness!!!
B) Man responds
1) His conversation
“and the Lord said to him in a vision “Ananias”
a) God spoke his name
i) Jesus knew Ananias name
ii) Jesus knows your name if you are saved.
John 10.3 “To him the doorkeeper and the sheep hear his voice, and he calls his own sheep by name and leads them out.
John 10.27 “My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow Me;”
b) Ananias answered his Lord
“Here I Am, Lord.”
Reminds us of 1 Samuel 3.1-11 (Samuels Call)
God was ready to do something great in Israel!
God was here in acts going to do something great in and through Saul’s life and in the world.
God still speaks to his people!! God still works through His people! God will do something great at Calvary if we will hear his voice and respond.
i) Ananias knew the voice of his Shepard.
ii) Ananias showed he was ready and willing to obey his Lord.
c) God spoke Ananias’ commission
“Get up and go to the street called straight and inquire at the house of Judas”
i) God is once again sending his people out