Summary: This sermon describes the power of one person to change the world through the power of Christ.
The Power of One Pt II
One Can Change the World
Last week we began our discussion of the power of one. One can move the heart of God. I want to continue this morning to share with you on this subject. I want to talk with you about the power of one to change the world. Acts chapter 9 is a testament to the conversion experience of one of Christianity¡¦s most beloved hero¡¦s, the Apostle Paul. It¡¦s a story of how God transformed the life of Paul from a murderer to a martyr. It¡¦s a wonderful story of Grace and redemption for this apostle who wrote most of our New Testament. But I don¡¦t want to talk with you today about Paul so much as I want to talk to you about a very small, mostly overlooked character that many of you have never heard of ¡V His name is Ananias. The commentaries on the New Testament have little or nothing to say of this devout man who changed world. He is barely mentioned in the literature and never mentioned in the light of Paul¡¦s accomplishments. What we know is that Ananias was a Christian living in Damascus. We know that he was one of the people Paul was on his way to Damascus to persecute. We know little more than this but we know that Ananias changed the world.
Let¡¦s read together this passage and see for ourselves what this quiet little man from Damascus did to change the world.
The Power of One to change the world lies in
1) Listening to God ¡V ¡§Ananias¡¨ ¡V ¡§Here I am Lord¡¨ ¡V Thus began the adventure of a lifetime for Ananias. God spoke ¡V Ananias listened. It always starts that way when great things are accomplished for God. God speaks and someone listens. It happened to Moses ¡V when God spoke from a burning bush. It happened in Samuel when God spoke to a young child in the Temple. It happened to Jeremiah when he was called to be a prophet, to Joshua when he was called to command, to Jonah when he was called to Nineveh, to Abraham when he was called to be the father of the faithful, to the disciples when they were called from their nets. But always it was God who called and one person who listened and from that encounter ¡V the world was changed.
Principle :The central tenet of the Friends movement is that God can and will speak to every listening heart. Ananias was called to play a small but integral part in the Christian transformation of the world in the 1st century. He discipled, baptized, and prayed over the apostle Paul at his conversion. Without Ananias Paul¡¦s ministry would not have been launched, his promise left unfulfilled his mission incomplete. One could argue that if Ananias didn¡¦t do it someone else would have ¡V and you may be right but Ananias was called and Ananias answered and Ananias was used by the hand of God to transform the world not someone else.
4 Keys to effective listening
„Y Approach God ¡V you have to be near Him to hear Him/ prayer, scripture, worship
„Y Wash your hands ¡V Spiritually speaking ¡V remove the impediments
„Y Shut Up ¡V be still so He can speak
„Y Listen ¡V Not to what you want to hear but to what He is saying.
2) Obedience ¡V Ananias had a tough choice. Do I go? Remember he wasn¡¦t called to go to his next door neighbor and share his testimony. He was called to go to the man who had come to Damascus to kill him ¡V and share openly and willingly the evidence that would convict him. This was risky business. But God didn¡¦t ask Ananias to assess the risk and see if it was worth it did he? He didn¡¦t tell Ananias to form a committee to evaluate the wisdom of God¡¦s request. He told him to go. Ananias¡¦ participation in the blessing was dependent on his obedience to the will of God. James tells us that we are to be doers of the word not merely hearers who delude ourselves. Jesus said to His disciples ¡§If you know these things you are blessed if you do them.¡¨ Knowing is inconsequential without doing.
Principle: Knowledge doesn¡¦t change the world action does. Practically all of us who sit here today know that God has given us talents and gifts, all of us know that God has given us the great commission, all of us know that God wants us to share our faith ¡V so why don¡¦t we do it. We will never change the world by sitting on our hands we will change the world by using them.
Which brings us to the final power to change the world ¡V