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Faithlife

Greatest Impact

I Love Cabarrus 2017  •  Sermon  •  Submitted
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Obedience to God's Word always results in impact

Notes & Transcripts
Acts 9:1–20 ESV
But Saul, still breathing threats and murder against the disciples of the Lord, went to the high priest and asked him for letters to the synagogues at Damascus, so that if he found any belonging to the Way, men or women, he might bring them bound to Jerusalem. Now as he went on his way, he approached Damascus, and suddenly a light from heaven shone around him. And falling to the ground, he heard a voice saying to him, “Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting me?” And he said, “Who are you, Lord?” And he said, “I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting. But rise and enter the city, and you will be told what you are to do.” The men who were traveling with him stood speechless, hearing the voice but seeing no one. Saul rose from the ground, and although his eyes were opened, he saw nothing. So they led him by the hand and brought him into Damascus. And for three days he was without sight, and neither ate nor drank. Now there was a disciple at Damascus named Ananias. The Lord said to him in a vision, “Ananias.” And he said, “Here I am, Lord.” And the Lord said to him, “Rise and go to the street called Straight, and at the house of Judas look for a man of Tarsus named Saul, for behold, he is praying, and he has seen in a vision a man named Ananias come in and lay his hands on him so that he might regain his sight.” But Ananias answered, “Lord, I have heard from many about this man, how much evil he has done to your saints at Jerusalem. And here he has authority from the chief priests to bind all who call on your name.” But the Lord said to him, “Go, for he is a chosen instrument of mine to carry my name before the Gentiles and kings and the children of Israel. For I will show him how much he must suffer for the sake of my name.” So Ananias departed and entered the house. And laying his hands on him he said, “Brother Saul, the Lord Jesus who appeared to you on the road by which you came has sent me so that you may regain your sight and be filled with the Holy Spirit.” And immediately something like scales fell from his eyes, and he regained his sight. Then he rose and was baptized; and taking food, he was strengthened. For some days he was with the disciples at Damascus. And immediately he proclaimed Jesus in the synagogues, saying, “He is the Son of God.”
Acts 9:10–19 ESV
Now there was a disciple at Damascus named Ananias. The Lord said to him in a vision, “Ananias.” And he said, “Here I am, Lord.” And the Lord said to him, “Rise and go to the street called Straight, and at the house of Judas look for a man of Tarsus named Saul, for behold, he is praying, and he has seen in a vision a man named Ananias come in and lay his hands on him so that he might regain his sight.” But Ananias answered, “Lord, I have heard from many about this man, how much evil he has done to your saints at Jerusalem. And here he has authority from the chief priests to bind all who call on your name.” But the Lord said to him, “Go, for he is a chosen instrument of mine to carry my name before the Gentiles and kings and the children of Israel. For I will show him how much he must suffer for the sake of my name.” So Ananias departed and entered the house. And laying his hands on him he said, “Brother Saul, the Lord Jesus who appeared to you on the road by which you came has sent me so that you may regain your sight and be filled with the Holy Spirit.” And immediately something like scales fell from his eyes, and he regained his sight. Then he rose and was baptized; and taking food, he was strengthened. For some days he was with the disciples at Damascus.
Who was Ananias?
The Bible Exposition Commentary Chapter Nine: God Arrests Saul (Acts 9:1–31)

Ananias was a devout Jew (Acts 22:12) who was a believer in Jesus Christ. He knew what kind of reputation Saul had and that he was coming to Damascus to arrest believers. It was up to a week’s journey from Jerusalem to Damascus, but some of the Jerusalem Christians had gotten to the city first in order to warn the saints.

Acts 9:3–4 ESV
Now as he went on his way, he approached Damascus, and suddenly a light from heaven shone around him. And falling to the ground, he heard a voice saying to him, “Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting me?”
Acts 9
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Acts 9.
Acts 9:10 ESV
Now there was a disciple at Damascus named Ananias. The Lord said to him in a vision, “Ananias.” And he said, “Here I am, Lord.”
Acts 9:11–12 ESV
And the Lord said to him, “Rise and go to the street called Straight, and at the house of Judas look for a man of Tarsus named Saul, for behold, he is praying, and he has seen in a vision a man named Ananias come in and lay his hands on him so that he might regain his sight.”
Acts 9:13–14 ESV
But Ananias answered, “Lord, I have heard from many about this man, how much evil he has done to your saints at Jerusalem. And here he has authority from the chief priests to bind all who call on your name.”
Acts 9.13
“Because Ananias perceives the danger, this makes his willingness to go all the more impressive. We need to mix realism, or wisdom, with our courage.  Study the situation and make a righteous judgment. Even Jesus hid Himself for personal safety on occasion  and encouraged His disciples to be as “shrewd as serpents and as harmless as doves.” (). Being courageous and being stupid are two different things. But never should we disobey the Lord because we are afraid.” - By Jon W. Quinn (Expository Files, Sept 2015)
Acts 9.
Acts 9:15–16 ESV
But the Lord said to him, “Go, for he is a chosen instrument of mine to carry my name before the Gentiles and kings and the children of Israel. For I will show him how much he must suffer for the sake of my name.”
Acts 9:17–20 ESV
So Ananias departed and entered the house. And laying his hands on him he said, “Brother Saul, the Lord Jesus who appeared to you on the road by which you came has sent me so that you may regain your sight and be filled with the Holy Spirit.” And immediately something like scales fell from his eyes, and he regained his sight. Then he rose and was baptized; and taking food, he was strengthened. For some days he was with the disciples at Damascus. And immediately he proclaimed Jesus in the synagogues, saying, “He is the Son of God.”
acts 9.17-
Another later account states:
Acts 22:12–16 ESV
“And one Ananias, a devout man according to the law, well spoken of by all the Jews who lived there, came to me, and standing by me said to me, ‘Brother Saul, receive your sight.’ And at that very hour I received my sight and saw him. And he said, ‘The God of our fathers appointed you to know his will, to see the Righteous One and to hear a voice from his mouth; for you will be a witness for him to everyone of what you have seen and heard. And now why do you wait? Rise and be baptized and wash away your sins, calling on his name.’
BETTER:
Saul washed away his sins by “calling on the Lord” (; ). Kenneth Wuest translates , “Having arisen, be baptized and wash away your sins, having previously called upon His name.” In the Greek, it is not a present participle (“calling”), but an aorist participle (“having called”). His calling on the Lord preceded his baptism.
Or is it OBEY and trust God with the results.
BIGGIE SIZE IT!
“Christianity in the West tends to idolize success while misunderstanding suffering. We struggle with view the Christian life from a triumphalist perspective: “I’m a Christian; therefore I’m entitled to victory in every way!” -Ernest Gray (Sr. Pastor @ Keystone Baptist Church @ Asst. Prof @ Moody).
Persevere
Philippians 1:27–30 ESV
Only let your manner of life be worthy of the gospel of Christ, so that whether I come and see you or am absent, I may hear of you that you are standing firm in one spirit, with one mind striving side by side for the faith of the gospel, and not frightened in anything by your opponents. This is a clear sign to them of their destruction, but of your salvation, and that from God. For it has been granted to you that for the sake of Christ you should not only believe in him but also suffer for his sake, engaged in the same conflict that you saw I had and now hear that I still have.
You have everything you need...
2 Peter 1:3a ESV
His divine power has granted to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of him who called us to his own glory and excellence,
Difficult People?
1 Timothy 1:13 ESV
though formerly I was a blasphemer, persecutor, and insolent opponent. But I received mercy because I had acted ignorantly in unbelief,
John 16:2 ESV
They will put you out of the synagogues. Indeed, the hour is coming when whoever kills you will think he is offering service to God.
2 Corinthians 4:4 ESV
In their case the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelievers, to keep them from seeing the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God.
2 Corinthians 4:3–4 ESV
And even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing. In their case the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelievers, to keep them from seeing the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God.
OBEDIENCE IS THE ONLY PATH TO LASTING IMPACT
Even if it’s not American Super-Sized Strategic
What if your IMPACT results in a footnote in someone else’s story.
ILLUSTRATION -
Edward Kimball (DIFFICULT OBEDIENCE)
Ever heard of Edward Kimball?
Ever heard of Edward Kimball?
a Sunday School teacher who was afraid to witness.
Kimball went to visit a visitor to his church - a shoe salesman.
Kimball, trembling laid his hand on that clerks shoulder and told him how to receive Christ - he left feeling like a failure.
That shoe salesman said a little later on, if that man is that concerned about my soul, i ought to be concerned - he bowed his head and asked the Lord to save him - his name was
Dwight L. Moody
applied for Church membership and was rejected - didn’t know enough about the Bible
never ordained - started a Sunday School Ministry after leading 200 people to Christ
went to England in 1873 - started preaching - revival broke out
influential pastor who heard about him - invited him to come to his church to preach for several weeks
F. B. Meyer
J. Wilbur Chapman
Billy Sunday
(CLT REVIVAL INVITE )
Mordecai Hamm
Billy Graham Every few seconds the Gospel is seen or heard somewhere in the world through BGEA
----
Samuel L. Brengle (satisfied as a footnote)
Following his graduation he received offers to pastor some of the largest Methodists churches in the US. However, he turned them down as he became interested in the work of The Salvation Army. He had heard William Booth speak at an open-air service and was drawn to his ministry and mission and he desired to travel to England to meet and volunteer his services to the Founder of The Salvation Army. He had also met a young Salvationist by the name of Elizabeth Swift and had asked for her hand in marriage.
When he did arrive in England and meet the Founder, the meeting was far from cordial, Booth viewed Brengle with some scepticism calling him a dangerous man in that he had been his own boss and Booth was not sure Brengle would adhere to the discipline of The Salvation Army. Nonetheless he was accepted for training and made his home at the Salvation Army Training Barracks in London. There one of his first duties was to blacken and shine the boots of his fellow cadets, a job that was considered menial. Rather than complain he reminded himself of the fact that His Savior did not consider it beneath Himself to wash the feet of the disciples.
“If I am to serve the servants of Christ, it is enough.”
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