Summary: 1. God will give us strength (vs. 19-22). 2. God will give us a strategy (vs. 20-25). 3. God will give us support (vs. 23-30). 4. God will give us success (vs. 31).
Victorious Service for Our Savior
Sermon by Rick Crandall
Grayson Baptist Church - Feb. 2, 2014
*Please open your Bibles to Acts 9, as we think about serving our Savior. This chapter begins with the meeting Saul had with Jesus on the road to Damascus. At the time Saul was one of the most vicious enemies of God's Church. But on that road, Saul met Jesus in a blinding flash of light, and his life was totally transformed.
*After he was blinded, Saul had to be led by the hand into the city. But the Lord sent a faithful Christian named Ananias to help Saul miraculously regain his sight. Then Ananias helped Saul begin to understand what had happened on the road.
*Today's Scripture helps us understand how God turned Saul into the Apostle Paul, one of the most devoted Christian servants in history. And this matters a lot, because God wants all Christians to be devoted servants of God. With this background in mind, let's begin by reading Acts 9:19-31.
*Have you ever thought of yourself as a servant of the Lord? Christians: God wants us to be His servants. Paul certainly considered himself to be a servant of the Lord, and he was careful to mention this fact in his letters.
*For example, in Romans 1:1, Paul introduced himself as "a servant of Jesus Christ, called to be an apostle, separated to the gospel of God." Then in 1 Corinthians 4:1, Paul said, "Let a man so consider us, as servants of Christ and stewards of the mysteries of God." In 1 Corinthians 9:19, Paul said, "though I am free from all men, I have made myself a servant to all, that I might win the more." And in 2 Corinthians 4:5, Paul said, "We do not preach ourselves, but Christ Jesus the Lord, and ourselves your servants for Jesus' sake."
*Paul considered himself to be a servant of God, and that makes sense, because Jesus Christ also came as a servant. In Matthew 20, Jesus called His disciples to Him and said:
26. . . Whoever desires to become great among you, let him be your servant.
27. And whoever desires to be first among you, let him be your slave
28. just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many.''
*Jesus called Himself a servant, and He wants us to live in service to our God. As Rick Warren once said: "You were made to contribute, not just to consume. God made you to make a difference. And what matters is not how long you live, but how you live. What matters is not the duration of your life, but the donation of your life. The Bible says we’re created to serve, we’re saved to serve, we’re gifted to serve, and we’re commanded to serve." (1)
*But how can we be the servants God wants us to be? -- God's Word shows us in this Scripture.
1. First notice that God will give us strength.
*God will give us all the strength we will ever need, and Paul’s story proves this truth to us. Please look again in vs. 19-22:
19. And when he had received food, he was strengthened. Then Saul spent some days with the disciples at Damascus.
20. Immediately he preached the Christ in the synagogues, that He is the Son of God.
21. Then all who heard were amazed, and said, "Is this not he who destroyed those who called on this name in Jerusalem, and has come here for that purpose, so that he might bring them bound to the chief priests?''
22. But Saul increased all the more in strength, and confounded the Jews who dwelt in Damascus, proving that this Jesus is the Christ.
 God gave Paul two kinds of strength in these verses. In vs. 19, he was strengthened by the food.
*The word for strength here means that Paul was "invigorated." He was strengthened physically for the work God wanted him to do. It’s the same word used when Jesus was in the Garden of Gethsemane on the night before the cross. In Luke 22:42-43, Jesus said:
42. . . "Father, if it is Your will, remove this cup from Me; nevertheless not My will, but Yours, be done."
43. Then an angel appeared to Him from heaven, strengthening Him.
*Jesus was strengthened. Paul was strengthened. And God will give us the physical strength we need to do what He wants us to do.
 Then down in vs. 22, we see another word for "strength."
*Here God's Word says: "Saul increased all the more in strength, and confounded the Jews who dwelt in Damascus, proving that this Jesus is the Christ." The strength here in vs. 22 is where we get our word "dynamite," and it’s talking about the dynamic, spiritual power of God's Word and His Holy Spirit.