Summary: The Antioch Affect - Obedience to the Holy Spirit in small things, leads to far reaching blessings.
Note to reader: I have hot-links to various subjects in this sermon. The document with the active links can be found in PDF form at this web address: http://www.firstpresanchorage.org/Sermons.htm (The sermon is titled the same "The Antioch Affect") The links are not active in this document on sermon central. May our Lord Jesus empower you as you write your sermon for your congregation. -Peter
Edward Kimball was a Sunday School teacher at a little church in Chicago, his class was for teenagers. It wasn’t the biggest church in town, actually, it was a rather tiny church. Kimball had a small Sunday School class that consisted of just a handful of kids.
One Sunday a new kid showed up in church all on his own. This kid just showed up at church, he didn’t come with his family and no one from the church brought him. He just appeared.
He went to Edward Kimball’s Sunday School class that morning. Kimball quickly found out that this kid had never been to church before and was completely unfamiliar with the Bible and Christianity, compared to the other teens.
Edward Kimball realized that he needed to talk to this kid one on one about Jesus Christ and so that same week Kimball walked down to where the young man worked, a shoe store. Kimball saw the kid through the window working but hesitated to go in. He knew that he needed to really talk to this kid; again Kimball turned to enter, but again, he hesitated.
I mean who was Edward Kimball anyway? He was just a guy at one of the least significant churches in town, a guy with a relatively ineffective Sunday School class that only attracted a few teens, he wasn’t brilliant or especially articulate, he was just a part time Sunday School teacher and not much more. Has anyone here ever heard of him?
Still, this kid needed to hear about Jesus, and so, one more time Edward built up the courage to enter the store and talk to the kid - this time he followed through. Edward presented the gospel to the new kid as best he could….and the kid responded by giving his life over to Jesus Christ, right there in the store.
Now, chances are fairly high that a good portion of us here today in this church this morning know Jesus Christ as a result of this single act of Edward Kimball. This small act that Kimball almost let pass by, quite possibly could have been the demise of our chance to hear about Jesus, if he had not acted. Chances are, we owe our gratitude to this man for our opportunity to hear the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
You see, that kid who gave his life over to Jesus Christ that day was none other than Dwight Moody who later became one of the greatest evangelists in the world with hundreds and thousands becoming Christians as a result of his witness.
One of those who came to Christ as a result of Moody’s ministry was the Reverend Billy Graham, who in turn brought millions to Christ, worldwide.
A man few people could name today, a man who wasn’t really anyone, a man who didn’t stand a chance to win the Sunday School teacher of the year award, yet, in one single act, this man set in motion the creation more followers of Jesus Christ, perhaps, than anyone in the history of Christianity.
This is, The Antioch Affect - Obedience to the Holy Spirit in small things, leads to far reaching blessings.
Here in our Scripture today we have a group of men who set in motion events that would change the face of Christianity, these men set in motion events that would literally change the world.
As we look at our Scripture today, here is what we will be able to apply to our lives today: The small things we do in the Kingdom of God will have a greater impact than the great things we strive to do in the Kingdom of God. Let me say that again, The small things we do in the Kingdom of God will have a greater impact than the great things we strive to do in the Kingdom of God.
You know, doing small things in the Kingdom of God, is well….doing things. When we do little things, we are actually doing the work of the kingdom of God. Now, striving to do great things in the Kingdom of God is excellent, but the truth is, we may simply pass up opportunities God sets before us, by ignoring the small things.
Here in the 11th chapter of Acts, men who are not even named, attend to some small things and in actual fact, do a great thing by doing a small thing. Let’s see how that works.