Summary: From 9/11 to Hurricane Katrina, people want to find their place and make a difference in this world. But where do they go from there?
(This message was delivered on September 11th, 2005)
I Want To Make A Difference
Since the recent tragedy of Hurricane Katrina, we have had many organizations coming together to help those who were displaced because of the flood waters. We have movie stars, sports figures, politicians, the American Red Cross, the North Alabama Mission Board all calling out for U.S citizens to make a difference.
Today, also marks another event that will forever mark not only the history books but our minds as two hijacked planes flew into the World Trade Center. It is said that 2,792 lives were lost due to the heartless act of terrorism. During this period of time, The President of the United States, Dr. Billy Graham, movie stars, sports figures, the American Red Cross, the North Alabama Missions Board were once again all calling out for U.S citizens to make a difference by helping in whatever capacity you could help.
During this time in our nation’s history, people were drawn to the heroic efforts of police officers, firefighters and other emergency personnel who risked their lives to help save others.
While these two events were great opportunities to draw our nation together, I can’t help but think about the many families who are without homes due to the flood waters in New Orleans, Mississippi and the coast of Alabama. Today, I can’t help but think about the many lives that were lost on this 9/11 day back in 2001.
But I also can’t help but think about the many people that live in our own communities that are hurting.
People who need food
People who need shelter
People who need encouragement
People who need someone to care
People who need a Savior
I can’t help but think about a better time for Christians to make up in their minds that they want to make a difference.
What do I need to do?
What do I need to say?
Where do I need to go?
Those are the questions that I hope you have answered before you leave today.
In the book of Acts, we read of a man who decided he was going to make a difference.
He was not a king in power
He was not an ordained pastor
He was not a missionary on foreign soil
He was not a popular television star
He was just an ordinary man who stood for an extraordinary God.
READ: ACTS 6:8
Today, I want to take the scripture found in chapter 6 and chapter 7 and I want us to see:
What God would have us to do…?
What God would have us to say…?
Where God would have us to go…
1. Stephen was WILLING –
Willing to do what? Serve others.
Stephen was not called to be the Pastor…
He was not called to lead the music…
Stephen was not called to direct this year’s VBS...
He was called to be a waiter – Chapter 6:1-5
What a picture of having the willingness to serve.
Through out the Bible, we are taught the lessons on being a servant.
John 12:26 – “The Father will honor him that serves His Son…”
Exodus 23:25 – “…you shall serve the Lord and He will bless you…”
John 13:3-5 – the illustration of Christ – becoming a servant that washes the feet of His disciples.
To become someone who wants to make a difference… You have to be a person who is WILLING to do whatever God ask you to do.
2. Stephen was WIRED –
(Verse 5) “Stephen was full of faith and of the Holy Spirit
(Verse 8) ”Stephen, full of grace and power…”
When you get hooked into God’s power source, you too can do anything.
Feed 5,000 with two fishes and five loaves of bread
Raise a dead Lazarus out of the grave
Heal the Blind
Restore the hearing to a deaf man
Walk on water
Turn water to wine
Cause a chief tax gatherer to run a tree
Say to this mountain – “Be thou removed...”
Out live Dr.’s expectations
See a prodigal return home
Do away with drug addictions
Pour out the alcohol you thought you had to have
These are just some of the many things you can do when you get WIRED up into God’s power source.
(Example: Lamp not on but plugged in)
3. Stephen was WILD –
When you get wired up with the Holy Spirit, you will do things that you normally would not do.
Background: read v.9 – v.12
(Stephen stood in the midst of his opponents and preached the Gospel… chapter 7)
What do you mean about going “Wild”?
Building an ark when there has never been rain
Killing a giant with sling and a stone
Being thrown into a den of Lions for praying