Summary: Any person that has just come to Christ has many needs. We are going to use Acts 9 verses 10-18 to see what the Bible says about these needs and how we, as Christians can help to supply those needs.
Last time we saw Saul’s conversion experience. On his way to Damascus to persecute Christians, a bright light from heaven knocked Saul to the ground. He heard the voice of Jesus Christ speak to him asking why He was persecuting Him. We saw the beginning of Saul’s conversion experience. Saul was blinded so they led him to the city of Damascus. He was blinded for three days—three days to think things through, three days to wonder why Christ chose him, and three days to listen for God’s will.
Was it during those three days that Saul was converted? Whenever it was, as a new convert, he had certain needs. Any person that has just come to Christ has many needs. We are going to use Acts 9 verses 10-18 to see what the Bible says about these needs and how we, as Christians can help to supply those needs.
READ verses 10-15. This new convert, Saul, needed help from a very special believer. This special believer doesn’t appear to be an apostle, or a deacon, or an ordained minister. The believer was a simple unknown disciple named Ananias. The traits that Ananias possessed were exactly what were needed by the new convert, Saul.
1. First, Ananias was sensitive to God’s call. When God spoke to Ananias, he listened. He was sensitive and aware of the familiar voice of God. He was a man of much prayer. So, when God called him, he knew the voice of God and he answered. That’s one of the things that a new convert needs—the ministry of a disciple who knows the voice of God. He needs to learn how to be sensitive to the call and direction of God.
2. Second, Ananias was willing to face difficult assignments. Reaching out to help a new convert is never an easy thing to do. It’s a big responsibility. The more depraved the convert has been, the more difficult the task becomes. This was true with Saul. It’s true with most new converts.
In dealing with a new convert, there is always some apprehension. The new convert is somewhat unknown and to some degree a stranger and a novice in the faith. For instance, there is difficulty for the seasoned believer:
• Of learning where the new convert is in spiritual and Biblical understanding.
• Of learning where that person is emotionally.
• Of knowing what to teach, where to begin, and what pace to teach.
• Of determining how much time is necessary to disciple him.
• Of being on guard against becoming a stumbling block because the new convert is always watching and observing the teacher’s life.
The new convert watches the seasoned believers for an example of how to act. They look to the believer as an example of how to love and not be critical and judgmental. There is also the difficulty of the believer of protecting the new convert from returning to the world, of returning to his former life of sin.
3. Third, Ananias was willing to be the answer to prayer. Note how God assured Ananias. God told Ananias that Saul was praying: he was truly a new convert, seeking God’s face. He was broken and trembling and apprehensive. Wouldn’t you be? How would you feel: