Sr. Pastor Darrell G Vaughn
                                                        Faithfulness - A Key Step to Happiness
Oct 12, 2011                            "A New Thing!"
Wed PM Worship    Everyone enjoys the thrill getting something New! So does God!

Text: Acts 9:1-20   (King James Version) When Saul became Paul

  "Father, I am your servant, willing and desiring to be used to bless your people."

                            The Fields are white and the laborers are few!
C.H. Spurgeon said, "If God does not save a man by truth he certainly will not save them by lies, and if the old gospel is not competent to work a revival, then we will do without the revival;"

 

The reason many of us have too high of an opinion of ourselves is that we have too low of an opinion of our God! We are a dry eyed church in a hell bent world. "Our eyes are dry, our faith is old, our heart is hard, our prayers are cold.""We pray without crying, we give without sacrificing, we live without fasting...is it any wonder that we sow without reaping?!"

 

Acts 9:1   And Saul, yet breathing out threatenings and slaughter against the disciples of the Lord, went unto the high priest,

Acts 9:2   And desired of him letters to Damascus to the synagogues, that if he found any of this way, whether they were men or women, he might bring them bound unto Jerusalem.

Acts 9:3   And as he journeyed, he came near Damascus: and suddenly there shined round about him a light from heaven:

Acts 9:4   And he fell to the earth, and heard a voice saying unto him, Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou me?

Acts 9:5   And he said, Who art thou, Lord? And the Lord said, I am Jesus whom thou persecutest: it is hard for thee to kick against the pricks.

Acts 9:6   And he trembling and astonished said, Lord, what wilt thou have me to do? And the Lord said unto him, Arise, and go into the city, and it shall be told thee what thou must do.

Acts 9:7   And the men which journeyed with him stood speechless, hearing a voice, but seeing no man.

Acts 9:8   And Saul arose from the earth; and when his eyes were opened, he saw no man: but they led him by the hand, and brought him into Damascus.

Acts 9:9   And he was three days without sight, and neither did eat nor drink.

Acts 9:10   And there was a certain disciple at Damascus, named Ananias; and to him said the Lord in a vision, Ananias. And he said, Behold, I am here, Lord.

Acts 9:11   And the Lord said unto him, Arise, and go into the street which is called Straight, and inquire in the house of Judas for one called Saul, of Tarsus: for, behold, he prayeth,

Acts 9:12   And hath seen in a vision a man named Ananias coming in, and putting his hand on him, that he might receive his sight.

Acts 9:13   Then Ananias answered, Lord, I have heard by many of this man, how much evil he hath done to thy saints at Jerusalem:

Acts 9:14   And here he hath authority from the chief priests to bind all that call on thy name.

Acts 9:15   But the Lord said unto him, Go thy way: for he is a chosen vessel unto me, to bear my name before the Gentiles, and kings, and the children of Israel:

Acts 9:16   For I will show him how great things he must suffer for my name's sake.

Acts 9:17   And Ananias went his way, and entered into the house; and putting his hands on him said, Brother Saul, the Lord, even Jesus, that appeared unto thee in the way as thou camest, hath sent me, that thou mightest receive thy sight, and be filled with the Holy Ghost.

Acts 9:18   And immediately there fell from his eyes as it had been scales: and he received sight forthwith, and arose, and was baptized.

Acts 9:19   And when he had received meat, he was strengthened. Then was Saul certain days with the disciples which were at Damascus.

Acts 9:20   And straightway he preached Christ in the synagogues, that he is the Son of God.

 

Let's pray. Father,

Open my eyes so I can see Your truth.

Open my ears so I can hear Your voice.
Open my mind so I can understand Your Word.
And open my heart so I may receive all that You want me to receive. AMEN

 

There is a war going on within our country right now that has nothing to do with the terrorist threat or foreign invasion. It is a war between right and wrong, truth and lies and godliness and ungodliness.
We have gone from:  Kids having fistfights to drive by shootings in the neighborhood. Gone from School searches for chewing gum to searches for weapons. We have gone from Mayberry to Brokeback Mountain.

 

God is about to do a new thing!

Isaiah 43:19   Behold, I will do a new thing; now it shall spring forth; shall ye not know it? I will even make a way in the wilderness, and rivers in the desert.

 

Isaiah 6:8   Also I heard the voice of the Lord, saying, Whom shall I send, and who will go for us? Then said I, Here am I; send me.

Isaiah 6:9   And he said, Go, and tell this people, Hear ye indeed, but understand not; and see ye indeed, but perceive not.

 

Mark 16:15   And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.

Mark 16:16   He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned.

Mark 16:17   And these signs shall follow them that believe; In my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues;

Mark 16:18   They shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover.

Mark 16:19   So then after the Lord had spoken unto them, he was received up into heaven, and sat on the right hand of God.

Mark 16:20   And they went forth, and preached every where, the Lord working with them, and confirming the word with signs following. Amen.

 

Matthew 28:18   And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth.

Matthew 28:19   Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:

Matthew 28:20   Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen.

 

Matthew 11:2-5 When John heard in prison what Christ was doing, he sent his disciples to ask him, "Are you the one who was to come, or should we expect someone else?" Jesus replied, "Go back and report to John what you hear and see: The blind receive sight, the lame walk, those who have leprosy are cured, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, and the good news is preached to the poor.

Jesus declared that people could conclude that He was the promised "One to come" by what they heard and saw.

 Including miraculous healing of the blind, lame, and leprous, plus the dead being raised.

 The "Good News is preached" convincingly when people see healings and other visible manifestations of God's power.

 Notice that Jesus linked the preaching of the Gospel with the visible demonstration of God's power.

Matthew 13:16-17 But blessed are your eyes because they see, and your ears because they hear. For I tell you the truth, many prophets and righteous men longed to see what you see but did not see it, and to hear what you hear but did not hear it.

Jesus states that the longing in the hearts of the "prophets and righteous men" of old was to see and hear what Jesus' followers saw and heard.

 That same longing is in people's hearts today - to hear the Gospel and to see its power (not just to hear about it). Far too many Christians have settled for a powerless gospel that is far short of the dynamic faith that Jesus has imparted to us.

1 John 1:1,3 That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked at and our hands have touched - this we proclaim concerning the Word of life... [3] We proclaim to you what we have seen and heard...

 What we preach and teach most effectively, and with the greatest response, are the things of God that we have both "heard ... and seen with our eyes". John said, "This we proclaim..."

 People tend to be energized most by things they have experienced firsthand. That helps us understand Jesus' emphasis on people hearing and seeing the Gospel.

 Educators tells us that students retain information best if they hear aloud the words they are reading. Not just one but two of our five senses (sight and hearing) are affected. It seems to work that way also with the Gospel. The Lord's message becomes more deeply rooted in those who both hear and see the Gospel in action in their lives.

 I have studied healing in the bible for 35 years. I believe in divine healing because I have "heard" it from God's word. But I have also seen numerous verifiable divine healings. Having seen this truth in action further reinforces it in my spirit and tends to increase my faith for more.

John 3:31-33 The one who comes from above is above all; the one who is from the earth belongs to the earth, and speaks as one from the earth. The one who comes from heaven is above all. He testifies to what he has seen and heard, but no one accepts his testimony. The man who has accepted it has certified that God is truthful.

 Interestingly, Jesus said that His testimony concerning God the Father was of things that He Himself had both "seen and heard" in heaven.

 Jesus had visually seen the things of which He spoke.

 Too many churches today, including even some Pentecostal churches, are content just to preach the Gospel, but without the accompanying demonstration of the Spirit's power (1 Corinthians 2:4-5). To use a modern saying, this is like tying one arm behind our backs!

 If Jesus' ministry is to be a model for us, we must remember that He consistently taught and preached the word, but He also consistently healed the sick, cast out devils, and performed other miracles, signs, and wonders.

 People both heard and saw Jesus' ministry in action, demonstrating God's ability to save, heal, deliver, and bless.

Acts 2:32-33 God has raised this Jesus to life, and we are all witnesses of the fact. Exalted to the right hand of God, he has received from the Father the promised Holy Spirit and has poured out what you now see and hear.

 On the first New Testament Day of Pentecost, the 120 disciples were all filled with the Holy Spirit and spoke in tongues (Acts 2:1-4). Peter preached a message to the amazed crowds, and 3,000 were added to the church! (Acts 2:41).

 In that powerful message Peter referred to this convincing Pentecostal outpouring as Jesus in heaven having "poured out what you now see and hear" (vs. 33) - tongues of fire, the disciples speaking in tongues, a sound of a rushing, mighty wind! The onlookers were affected by both sight and sound.

 Seeing and hearing - a consistent pattern of how Jesus and His disciples preached the Gospel.

Acts 8:5-8 Philip went down to a city in Samaria and proclaimed the Christ there. When the crowds heard Philip and saw the miraculous signs he did, they all paid close attention to what he said. With shrieks, evil spirits came out of many, and many paralytics and cripples were healed. So there was great joy in that city.

 As in Jerusalem at Pentecost, so it was in Samaria when Philip preached there. He "preached Christ" there (Acts 8:5, KJV), as we always must. But Philip also ministered divine healing to the sick and cast out demons. The result was a citywide revival. The people of Samaria "paid close attention" to Philip's preaching when they saw the miraculous demonstration of God's power (vs. 6).

Acts 4:19-20 But Peter and John replied, "Judge for yourselves whether it is right in God's sight to obey you rather than God. For we cannot help speaking about what we have seen and heard."

 Even at potential risk to their lives, Peter and John told the Jewish priests and elders that they could "not help speaking about what [they] had seen and heard." They had been eyewitnesses (not just hearers) of Jesus' life and ministry. Nothing short of death could stop them from declaring it to others.

Acts 7:30-31 After forty years had passed, an angel appeared to Moses in the flames of a burning bush in the desert near Mount Sinai. When he saw this, he was amazed at the sight. As he went over to look more closely, he heard the Lord's voice.

 First Moses saw a manifestation of the Lord (in the burning bush). That prompted him to inquire more closely, and then "he heard the Lord's voice".

 Seeing the Gospel declared with power, with healing, with miracles, opens people's hearts to "hear the Lord's voice".

Let's close with a quote from the apostle Paul that summarizes today's emphasis on a Gospel that is to be seen as well as heard -

1 Corinthians 2:4-5, King James Version And my speech and my preaching was not with enticing words of man's wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power: that your faith should not stand in the wisdom of men, but in the power of God.

 If "with enticing words of man's wisdom" I can talk you into getting saved, someone wiser or craftier with words than I am can probably talk you out of it!

 God knows this; the apostle Paul knew this.

 God's intent is that the "gospel [come] to you not simply with words, but also with power, with the Holy Spirit and with deep conviction" (1 Thessalonians 1:5a).

 If the Gospel is declared "simply with words", it is not being declared according to the pattern of the New Testament, where the Gospel came "also with power, with the Holy Spirit".

 Many millions of this world's people are hungry for God, hungry for a God of both love and power, who has solutions for every human need. Like the "prophets and righteous men" of old (Matthew 13:17), people are longing both to hear and to see the marvelous reality of God in their lives.

 Lord, help us to minister a visible, demonstrated "full Gospel" as the apostle Paul did - "...through mighty signs and wonders, by the power of the Spirit of God; so that from Jerusalem, and round about unto Illyricum, I have fully preached the gospel of Christ" (Romans 15:19).

 

Luke 12:37   Blessed are those servants, whom the lord when he cometh shall find watching: verily I say unto you, that he shall gird himself, and make them to sit down to meat, and will come forth and serve them.

Luke 12:38   And if he shall come in the second watch, or come in the third watch, and find them so, blessed are those servants.

Luke 12:39   And this know, that if the goodman of the house had known what hour the thief would come, he would have watched, and not have suffered his house to be broken through.