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Summary: This sermon helps us see how lives are changed when Jesus becomes their Lord and Master.

"Jesus Can Change Our Lives"

ACTS 9:1-20

[1]And Saul, yet breathing out threatenings and slaughter against the disciples of the Lord, went unto the high priest,

[2] And desired of him letters to Damascus to the synagogues, that if he found any of this way, whether they were men or women, he might bring them bound unto Jerusalem.

[3] And as he journeyed, he came near Damascus: and suddenly there shined round about him a light from heaven:

[4] And he fell to the earth, and heard a voice saying unto him, Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou me?

[5] And he said, Who art thou, Lord? And the Lord said, I am Jesus whom thou persecutest: it is hard for thee to kick against the pricks.

[6] And he trembling and astonished said, Lord, what wilt thou have me to do? And the Lord said unto him, Arise, and go into the city, and it shall be told thee what thou must do.

[7] And the men which journeyed with him stood speechless, hearing a voice, but seeing no man.

[8] And Saul arose from the earth; and when his eyes were opened, he saw no man: but they led him by the hand, and brought him into Damascus.

[9] And he was three days without sight, and neither did eat nor drink.

[10] And there was a certain disciple at Damascus, named Ananias; and to him said the Lord in a vision, Ananias. And he said, Behold, I am here, Lord.

[11] And the Lord said unto him, Arise, and go into the street which is called Straight, and enquire in the house of Judas for one called Saul, of Tarsus: for, behold, he prayeth,

[12] And hath seen in a vision a man named Ananias coming in, and putting his hand on him, that he might receive his sight.

[13] Then Ananias answered, Lord, I have heard by many of this man, how much evil he hath done to thy saints at Jerusalem: [14] And here he hath authority from the chief priests to bind all that call on thy name.

[15] But the Lord said unto him, Go thy way: for he is a chosen vessel unto me, to bear my name before the Gentiles, and kings, and the children of Israel:

[16] For I will shew him how great things he must suffer for my name’s sake.

[17] And Ananias went his way, and entered into the house; and putting his hands on him said, Brother Saul, the Lord, even Jesus, that appeared unto thee in the way as thou camest, hath sent me, that thou mightest receive thy sight, and be filled with the Holy Ghost. [18] And immediately there fell from his eyes as it had been scales: and he received sight forthwith, and arose, and was baptized.

[19] And when he had received meat, he was strengthened. Then was Saul certain days with the disciples which were at Damascus.

[20] And straightway he preached Christ in the synagogues, that he is the Son of God.

Back in the 1850s...two brothers...Caleb & Eli Walsh

were growing up in Paint Rock, Texas...

a little town out in the country.

When they were still young men

they were arrested, tried and convicted for stealing sheep.

The judge ordered them to pay the ranchers for the sheep

and pay a fine of $50.

But some people thought the judge wasn’t tough enough.

So they took matters into their own hands.

They grabbed the 2 boys late one night.

Took them out and with a hot branding iron...

they branded the two criminals on the forehead

with the letters "ST" to indicate "sheep thief."

That way anyone who met them would shun them

and they could never forget their shame.

Eli Walsh couldn’t bear the shame of that brand on his head.

He became a bitter man.

He moved away never to return to the little town of his boyhood.

Eventually he died and was forgotten.

But the other brother, Caleb, chose a different course of life.

Caleb Walsh’s life serves as a valuable lesson for us.

Today we will see how he reacted to a bad experience in life.

We will see how he became a new person in Jesus.

Caleb Walsh was a little like the Apostle Paul.

In today’s Bible text

we find Paul who, Caleb Walsh,

was about to get his life turned around.

Caleb Walsh and Paul experienced a life renewal.

I will use their stories to show us

how Jesus changes us to become all He wants us to be.

What is the first lesson to consider?

· Lesson #1

· IT’S NOT WHAT HAPPENS TO US,

IT’S HOW WE HANDLE IT!

Verse 8:

And Saul arose from the earth; and when his eyes were opened, he saw no man: but they led him by the hand, and brought him into Damascus.

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