Summary: God wants to surprise you on Sundays to show you He is who He says He is. Are you willing to let Him surprise you? If you let Him surprise you on Sunday then watch out surprises will also come Monday thru Saturday! God loves to say, “Surprise!”
Opening Video from Outreach kit Back to Church Sunday: Sundays can surprise you!
Series: I love Sundays!
Opening Illustration: Have you ever been surprised? Show pictures of surprises!
Sermon: Because God surprised me!
Thesis: God wants to surprise you on Sundays to show you He is who He says He is. Are you willing to let Him surprise you? If you let Him surprise you on Sunday then watch out surprises will also come Monday thru Saturday! God loves to say, “Surprise!”
T.S. – A Case in point:
Scripture: Acts 9:1-18
1Meanwhile, Saul was still breathing out murderous threats against the Lord’s disciples. He went to the high priest
2and asked him for letters to the synagogues in Damascus, so that if he found any there who belonged to the Way, whether men or women, he might take them as prisoners to Jerusalem.
3As he neared Damascus on his journey, suddenly a light from heaven flashed around him.
4He fell to the ground and heard a voice say to him, “Saul, Saul, why do you persecute me?”
5“Who are you, Lord?” Saul asked. “I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting,” he replied.
6“Now get up and go into the city, and you will be told what you must do.”
7The men traveling with Saul stood there speechless; they heard the sound but did not see anyone.
8Saul got up from the ground, but when he opened his eyes he could see nothing. So they led him by the hand into Damascus.
9For three days he was blind, and did not eat or drink anything.
10In Damascus there was a disciple named Ananias. The Lord called to him in a vision, “Ananias!” “Yes, Lord,” he answered.
11The Lord told him, “Go to the house of Judas on Straight Street and ask for a man from Tarsus named Saul, for he is praying.
12In a vision he has seen a man named Ananias come and place his hands on him to restore his sight.”
13“Lord,” Ananias answered, “I have heard many reports about this man and all the harm he has done to your saints in Jerusalem.
14And he has come here with authority from the chief priests to arrest all who call on your name.”
15But the Lord said to Ananias, “Go! This man is my chosen instrument to carry my name before the Gentiles and their kings and before the people of Israel.
16I will show him how much he must suffer for my name.”
17Then Ananias went to the house and entered it. Placing his hands on Saul, he said, “Brother Saul, the Lord—Jesus, who appeared to you on the road as you were coming here—has sent me so that you may see again and be filled with the Holy Spirit.”
18Immediately, something like scales fell from Saul’s eyes, and he could see again. He got up and was baptized, and
19after taking some food, he regained his strength.
God surprised our hero of the faith Paul on the Damascus road according to our Scripture text this morning. Paul had thought that he represented God in the persecution of the Way – they were followers and disciples of Jesus. He really though in his religious mind that God was pleased in what he was doing only to discover he was fighting against the God whom He claimed to serve. God appeared to him and ask him the big question, “Why are you fighting against me – why are you persecuting me and my people?” In a sense Jesus said, “Surprise!”
This I am sure blew Paul away – He was surprised – Have you been there in your life? You think you are serving God and instead you are fighting against Him? I am sure most of you here have not done what Paul was doing to Jesus followers by having them killed. So God shows up and surprises our misguided God follower. Jesus appears to Him – yes – he has a revelation of Jesus – he falls off his donkey or horse to the ground – He hears Jesus speak to Him and he sees the light of heaven which blinds him! “Surprise Paul” – Paul is stunned – knocked down – shaken up – blind! Surprised by God on the road!
God speaks to our blind man – tells him what to do and he remains blind for three days until God sends another person to help him. Ananias is also surprised by God especially to go pray for Paul’s healing so his sight may be restored. This what I call being surprised by God – even Ananias was surprised by God because he had heard about Paul and his persecution of Jesus followers – yes - killing of Christians – he even questions the Lord about going to Him. But “Surprise” this is exactly what God wants him to do. So he goes and Paul is healed and changes into a committed follower of Jesus.