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Why does God speak

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Why does God speak?

Acts 22:1-11

Intro:

I have been pondering a story of a weak sickly man.  The man was so sick and he could not afford going to town to the doctor.  The man lived in the deep back woods in an old log cabin, his condition seemed to grow worse.  Out in front of his cabin was a hugh boulder.  The rock was massive in front of his place.  One night in a very real vision, God told him to go out there and push the huge rock all day long, day after day.

The man got up early in the morning, and with great excitement he pushed the rock until lunch,  then he rested a while and pushed the rock until supper time.  The man loved pushing against the rock, it gave him meaning.  The dream was so real that it was with great excitement he pushed against the rock.  Day after day he pushed. Day rolled into week, and week into months, he faithfully  pushed against the rock.

After 8 months of pushing the rock, the weak sickly man was getting tired of pushing the rock so much, in his tiredness he started to doubt his dream.  So one day he measured from his porch to the rock, and after daily pushing the rock, he would measure to see how much he had moved the rock.  After two weeks of pushing and measuring, he realized he had not moved the boulder not a 1/32 of an inch? As a matter of fact, the boulder was in the same place as when he
started.  The man was so disappointed, he thought the dream was so special and now after 9 months  he saw his work had accomplished nothing, he was tired and his dream seemed dashed upon the rock.

The man sat on his porch and cried and cried, he had invested many hundred hours into nothing. Nothing, it was all nothing! As the sun was sitting in the west, Jesus came and sat down next to the man as he cried.  Jesus said, "Son, why are you crying?"  The man replied, "Lord, You know how sick and weak I am, and then this dumb dream  gave me a false hope and I have pushed with all that was within me for over 9 months, and that dumb old rock is right where it was when I started."

Jesus was kind and said to him, "I never told you to move the rock, I told you to push against the rock." The man replied, "Yes, Sir, that was the dream."  Jesus told the man to step in front of the mirror and look at himself.  As an act of obedience the man stepped in front of a mirror and looked at himself.  The man was amazed, he had been so sickly and weak, and what he saw in the mirror  was a strong muscular man. The man realized that he had not been coughing all night.  The man started thinking of how well he felt for several months and the strength that he had built by pushing on the rock. 

Then the man realized, that the plan of God was not for the rock, but for the man.  So, I suggest to you today, that God is building people. God is building churches.  The storms, the trials, the heartaches, the disappointments, are all but part of the process.  We should never use people to build the church, we must use the church to build people.  Don’t start measuring your success, trust the God that will take the process, and build His people. God is stretching you, God is growing you! Understand the plan!  Trust His Hands!

I.                    God speaks to make himself known

A.                 Saul, saul, why persecutest thou me?  Who art thou, Lord?

1.                  God convicted Saul of sin, but why? - so Paul could experience God!

2.                  This is the essence of our lives - that we may know and experience Christ

a)                  Philippians 3:1-10  That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death;

b)                  Colossians 3:4  When Christ, who is our life, shall appear, then shall ye also appear with him in glory.

3.                  ILL: man walking - God gives him wheels, etc

B.                 God may have come to you and asked you a question: Vladimir, why are you separated from me?  Why are running away?  Why are still involved in sin?  Why are you stealing from me?  Does God need your money?  No!  God wants to give you something better - assurance of the things that you can never lose!

C.                 How far have you gotten in your life?  God made a promise that if we trust him, take him at his word and do exactly what he said - we will never regret our life, we will never have a need that he won’t supply for, and that we will never have our prayers unanswered.

D.                 Who wants to serve a God like that?

II.                 God speaks to grow our faith

A.                 Иисус открыл своё имя Павлу  «Я Иисус Назорей, Которого ты гонишь»

B.                 Paul knew ABOUT Christ, but never had a personal relationship with him

C.                 Faith - applying God’s truth to our lives.

1.                  True faith is active faith - Abraham took Isaac to sacrifice

2.                  True faith is a changing faith - if you truly got acquainted with Christ - you will change. 

3.                  True faith is an enduring faith - we serve a God that never changes.  His power and promises never change.  His faithfulness never changes.  His love for us never changes.  His truth never changes

D.                 God has spoken to Paul to bring about that crisis of belief that allowed Paul to accept Christ PERSONALLY

III.               God speaks to equip us to do his work

A.                 “сказано будет все, что назначено тебе делать.”

1.                  God has a right to use us

2.                  “Pick up your room” - It is your room, dad

B.                 “Make haste, and get thee quickly out of Jerusalem: for they will not receive thy testimony concerning me.”

IV.              When God speaks we ought to respond

Let’s imagine a situation where a homeless man is begging on the streets of New York. A well dressed man in a long limousine pulls up next to him and offers him a job as vice-president of his company. You might say that is ridiculous; nothing like that would ever happen. But that is exactly what God has done for us. He rescued us from the gutter. We were homeless and he gave us a new home. We were the rejects of the world, but he gave us self respect. We had nothing, but he gave us everything. He asks us to be a part of his kingdom and work for it.

But, now, let’s say that the homeless man sneers at him and rejects the offer for several reasons. First, he will have to give up what is familiar to him. Obviously, it is a terrible life, but it is the only life he knows how to live. Secondly, he has a few possessions which he pushes around in a cart, and the few clothes he owns are on his back. And one of the conditions the man in the limousine makes is that the man must leave everything and get into the limousine. The third reason is that the man will actually have to work and accept responsibility. Life on the street was bad, but at least no one expected anything from him. No one expected him to be any different. So he turns from the man in the expensive suit and shuffles down the street hoping for a warm grate that he can sleep on for the night.

Does the man in the story understand what he has given up? He would have had a home, a job, a purpose, a great bank account, and a high position in an important business. But he passed it up to keep what he had. How foolish. This is why Jesus said, “If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me. For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me will save it” (Luke 9:23-24). Dallas Willard reminds us that if we are going to talk about the cost of discipleship, we ought to balance it by talking about the cost of non-discipleship.

Are you like the homeless man? When Christ comes to ask you to die to yourself and give up your old life, you refuse. You think about all the stuff in your cart that you will have to give up. You may be miserable, but at least you are used to it, and you know how to get by. You are not sure you would know what to do if you really died to your old life. Besides, you don’t want to put forth the effort to change. You don’t want the responsibility of living the Christian life fully. But what if you understood that you were in line to inherit the business? You were not just a partner, you were an heir. And the reason you were selected was that the man in the limousine, unknown to you, was really your father who had searched until he found you. He knew your potential. He understood what you were capable of. He wanted to call you more than vice-president; he wanted to call you son. The Bible says, “The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children. Now if we are children, then we are heirs — heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in his sufferings in order that we may also share in his glory” (Romans 8:16-17).

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