Summary: We talk so much about the Apostle Paul, don't we? But we rarely talk about the man who was instrumental in Paul’s life. Find out how you can make a difference in others' lives. I would be delighted if you could rate this sermon and give a brief feedback.
You Can Make a Difference!
Text: Acts 9:10-19
Many times when we read this chapter we focus on the conversion and calling of Paul, but Ananias is often ignored.
Hebrew: Hannaniah = ‘Yahweh has been gracious’.
Ananias is mentioned only in association with Saul’s conversion in Scripture (in the above scripture and in Acts 22:12-16).
How could Ananias make a difference in Paul’s life?
Ananias could make a difference because he had the following godly qualities:
1. Ananias was Sensitive to God’s Voice (v. 10).
Ananias answered –“Yes, Lord.”
What if Ananias was busy doing something else and if he wasn’t listening to God?
Ananias would have missed the greatest opportunity of his life if he wasn’t listening.
He was in a place of communion with the Lord.
He was listening and was sensitive to God’s voice.
John 10:3 says that the sheep listen to the shepherd’s voice.
Psalm 46:10 – we need to be still in order to hear from God.
Sit down and listen to God.
Are you listening to God?
Prayer is a dialogue, not just a monologue.
Be sensitive to God’s voice so that when He calls your name, you’ll hear Him.
Illustration: In 2005, as a part of our Summer Ministry, I went to Lucknow. One day, when I was praying, God spoke to me about one sister that she is discouraged. I told this to her and she was encouraged.
2. Ananias was Obedient to God’s Word (vv. 11-17).
Obeying God may seem foolish many times.
1 Samuel 15:22 says that obedience is better than sacrifice.
Obeying God is risky and painful too.
But it is worth it!
Abraham – didn’t know where he was going.
Ananias risked his life because he knew that Paul was persecuting Christians.
He knew his life was in danger. Still, he obeyed and believed God’s word.
Illustration: Imagine yourself trying to share the gospel with a top RSS leader or Osama Bin Laden.
God’s ways and plans are different from ours.
Phil. 2:8 – Jesus was obedient unto death.
We need to imitate Jesus in our obedience to God.
3. Ananias was faithful even in fulfilling a small task (vv. 17-19).
Ananias might have thought he was doing something insignificant, but now we understand how significant his work was.
Paul wrote 13 of the 27 books in the NT.
God used Ananias to bring sight back to Paul, to be filled with the Holy Spirit, and to give him the prophecy that Paul based his whole ministry on.
As per the Biblical accounts, Ananias never did any other great exploits or miracles.
In our modern day of distorted values, we’ve lost sight of the Ananiases of this world.
Anyone can count the seeds in an apple, but only God can count the apples in a seed.
Likewise, the potential of our deeds of love and faith to others is beyond human comprehension.
Illustration: Manoj Thapa – a) Picture of Jesus hanging on the wall; Jesus raising Lazarus from the dead (Sunday school teacher); b) a brother who prayed for him.