Summary: This message focuses on the wasted life of Judas and describes how we can make a difference in the lives of other people.
The Power of a Changed Life
Useful or Useless? Your Choice!
Turn in your Bibles to Acts 3:1-10. We come today to the 5th message in this preaching series titled The Power of Changed Life.
One of the men God used in the 19th century was D.L. Moody. He was not a pastor, not a great teacher but he was a perfect example of a person whose availability was much greater than his actual ability. No question about it, he is a picture of the power of a changed life. Moody was born in 1837 to a very poor family. His Dad had died at age 41 leaving the family in great poverty. In fact it was so bad that the bank came and took everything they had. All they had were the clothes on their back. When their mother took them to church she had them go barefoot until they got close to the church so that they wouldn’t wear out their shoes walking on the street. Then when their mother got close enough, they were allowed to put their shoes and socks on and walk into the church.
But D.L. Moody became a very successful businessman. He was one of the top shoe salesmen in the country. Moody became interested in the church and wanted to join. But he was so illiterate that he failed the new member’s class. Listen I don’t know anyone that has happened to. So he came back a year later and this time they let him join. But they still said we believe you are really lacking in the things of God.
But he surprised them and said I’m going to sell my business..he was 30 years old and i am going to go to work for God full time telling people about Jesus. One of the first time he ever spoke in church a man in the church came up to afterwards and said Moody I think you can best serve God by remaining silent the rest of your life. Another man came up and said you have offended me today with your poor grammar. D.L. Moody looked back at him and said, “I realize my grammar is very poor. He said to him you seem to have good grammar don’t you? He said yes I have very good grammar. Moody then looked at him and said well what are you doing for God. Enough said.
Moody was in Ireland when he heard someone speak these words: the world has yet to see what God will do with man who is fully committed to him. Moody said let’s see...he said a man...he didn’t say a great man. He didn’t say a smart man. So Moody said I’ll be that man! It is believed that Moody shared his faith with more people than any other man in his day. He was the Billy Graham of his generation.
Here is the question I want you to think about this morning. What kind of person does God really use? In this passage today Peter and John are going to the to pray. It is 3:00 in the afternoon. It occurs to me that the first thing God looks for to decide how he will use them is this...God looks for people who are doing the right things. V. 1
It is significant that as we walk through these early chapters in Acts that we find john and Peter together. God has linked them together in a partnership. John is actually ministering to Peter. They are going to the church to pray. They are doing the right thing. I don’t think that it is difficult to notice that God uses some people but not everyone. I think there are two keys here. (1) availability. Have you opened up your life to God in such a way that he can see that you are available. (2) Not just through your words but through your actions. I hear people say I want more than anything for God to use me. I want to be fully committed to Christ but it’s all lip service. Here’s some good news. If you want God to use you then you make yourself available to do the right things. That’s what Peter and John were doing and that’s what we must do.
2. God looks for people who are willing to be interrupted. God uses people who love people more than anything else in life. Even in the midst of a busy schedule they are willing to be interrupted. V. 2-3.
Peter and John are about to get to the door of the temple/church. Just about to pray and this man interrupts them. Let me ask you? Are you a goal oriented person or a people person? People who are goal oriented have to learn a very difficult lesson. Be flexible. Be spontaneous. Why? Because God uses people who put people first. As a church we are in the people business. Our vision is to enlarge the size of heaven by taking as many people as possible with us.