Sunday, September 23, 2012

One Man


Share the history leading up to the conversion of Saul of Tarsus …
·       AD35/36 – 5 or 6 years after Jesus was crucified & resurrected
·       Saul was most likely 30/31 years old
·       Saul is committed to the destruction of Christianity
o   He is not really a bad guy, in fact he is very committed … only
o   He just has some stinking thinking and a lot of support
·       All of that is about to change
o   On his way from Jerusalem to Damascus, 130 mile, 6 day trip
o   Jesus spoke to Saul out of a bright, blinding light
o   Jesus sent Saul into Damascus to await further instructions
·       Now Jesus needs some help … and when Jesus needs help, He chooses someone to help Him …
o   Someone prepared …
o   Often more prepared than even they know or appreciate!

Acts 9
10  Now there was a certain disciple at Damascus named Ananias; and to him the Lord said in a vision, "Ananias." And he said, "Here I am, Lord."
11  So the Lord said to him, "Arise and go to the street called Straight, and inquire at the house of Judas for one called Saul of Tarsus, for behold, he is praying.
12  "And in a vision he has seen a man named Ananias coming in and putting his hand on him, so that he might receive his sight."
13  Then Ananias answered, "Lord, I have heard from many about this man, how much harm he has done to Your saints in Jerusalem.
14  "And here he has authority from the chief priests to bind all who call on Your name."
15  But the Lord said to him, "Go, for he is a chosen vessel of Mine to bear My name before Gentiles, kings, and the children of Israel.

Jesus chose one man, Ananias, even though Ananias did not want to be chosen. Jesus wanted Ananias to go and pray for Saul/Paul because Jesus had chosen Saul for a special mission which only he could do.

Jesus needed something done so He chose one man to do it … He is always choosing individuals.

Ezekiel 22:30  So I sought for a man among them who would make a hedge, and stand in the gap before Me on behalf of the land, that I should not destroy it; but I found no one.

God has a “One Man” mentality. God is always looking for “one man”.

Adam, Noah, Abraham, Moses, David, John the Baptist, the Apostle Paul, Martin Luther, Billy Graham …Who will be the next one …

Who will be the one whom God chooses and uses to lead your family to Christ, save a soul from hell, restore a marriage, deliver from debt, build a model family, prepare young people for life, restructure a community, lead a nation or tell the world about Him?

It was Ester whom God chose in her day… Daniel in his, Deborah for her generation, Elijah in his and then Mary was the “One”  chosen to bear the Son of God, Messiah to the Jews and Savior of the World.

Some chosen people God places in our lives teach us what to do and some teach us what not to do … both are valuable lessons. Eve, and even Judas Iscariot, teach us that not all of the chosen are perfect.

Bathsheba and Peter teach us that we can recover from our last bad decision or our most critical mistake … and, that sinners can still be used by God.

“The devil has desired to sift you like wheat but I have prayed for you that your faith fail not. When you return to Me, strengthen the brethren.” (Luke 22:31&32)

When the devil gets wind that God is about to choose someone, he gets mighty scared and begins trying to disqualify them or get them on his side. But don’t worry, like Jesus told Peter:

God chooses and uses whomever He wills … has He chosen you?

1 Peter 2:9  But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light.

5 Marks of a Chosen Vessel
1.   They are nobody special (except they are special to God)
a.   No form or comeliness … (Isaiah 53:2)
b.   God calls greatness out of obscurity (Moses; David; Esther)
2.   The  Chosen don’t know their chosen until they are chosen
a.   They are often not the only people to be surprised
b.   Sometimes they don’t want to be chosen, special, called …
c.   Not often believed or embraced by friends/family
3.   God chooses people who are great in their ordinary (Jael)
a.   Accomplishing the ordinary extraordinarily well qualifies …
b.   If we are faithful over the little, we become lord over much
4.   People are chosen by God to do, not just chosen by God to be
a.   The chosen are workers not watchers
b.   The chosen are not all leaders but they all lead by example
c.   Paul said, “follow me as I follow Christ” – do what I do …
d.   Jesus said, “If I do not the works of My Father, believe Me not”
5.   God has never chosen anyone to save, deliver or bless themselves.
a.   It’s never about the chosen
b.   It’s always about others

You never know, you may be the next one to be chosen by God …

And … it’s God’s choice!

Our part is to be a willing participant …

Are you willing today?

(Numbers 17:5  "And it shall be that the rod of the man whom I choose will blossom; thus I will rid Myself of the complaints of the children of Israel, which they make against you.")

God has a “One Man” mentality … be the one!