This sermon was based on Acts 9:1-9.
The Conversion of Saul
10Now there was a disciple at Damascus named Ananias. The Lord said to him in a vision, “Ananias.” And he said, “Here I am, Lord.” 11And 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, 12and 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.” 13But Ananias answered, “Lord, I have heard from many about this man, how much evil he has done to your saints at Jerusalem. 14And here he has authority from the chief priests to bind all who call on your name.” 15But 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. 16For I will show him how much he must suffer for the sake of my name.” 17So 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.” 18And immediately something like scales fell from his eyes, and he regained his sight. Then he rose and was baptized; 19and taking food, he was strengthened.
- Sometimes the things we feel God is asking us to do can be scary! Ananias is honest and open about his fear and we can be too.
- ‘Courage is not the absence of fear, but rather the assessment that something else is more important than fear.’
- Feel the fear, be honest about it and then choose to be courageous and do what God is saying anyway, knowing that his love can cast out you fear.
Accepting and Loving Others
- Ananias calls Saul ‘Brother Saul’ – this is not a normal human response to someone who wants to see you dead!
- Jesus enables us to see people the way that he sees them, as children he dearly loves and wants to make his own.
- We can be confident coming to others because in God’s eyes we are all equal regardless of background, education, race, ability, living circumstances, religion, gender or anything else.
We Need the Holy Spirit
- Ananias tells Saul he needs to be filled with the Holy Spirit even though Jesus didn’t directly tell him to do this. He just knew this was what Saul needed!
- If we are to do the things God is asking us to do, no matter how big or small we will need the Holy Spirit.
- You never know what God might do with your courage and your obedience when you step out filled with the Holy Spirit.