Minor characters are never minor.
DECEMBER 27, 2021
Minor characters are never minor. Let’s talk about it, on Key Life.
Being adopted into the family of God is not about doing more or trying harder. It’s about being welcomed by God because of his radical grace free from the penalties of sin and never alone in your suffering. That grace is what Key Life is all about.
Thank you Matthew. I hope you guys had our great Christmas. I hope you haven’t had a nervous breakdown. I hope you get some rest. I hope you remember, you know what I think about after Christmas? I think about somebody who’s taking down the decorations who doesn’t know Christ. And, you know, they’ve gone to the parties, they’ve exchanged the presents, and it’s been nice having the family around and they’ve hummed those Christmas songs, but they don’t know him. And so, I can picture a wife, maybe a husband undecorating the Christmas tree and putting the ornaments back in the boxes where they will stay all year until the next Christmas. And I can see her stopping for a moment and saying, you know, there was something there, there was something. Oh, well. And then she goes on and puts the ornaments back in the boxes, man, this year, let’s be aware of people like that. When you say how’s your Christmas? And they say, well, it was alright. Say you know mine was great. I hated a lot of it, it was really a hassle, but it was about Jesus and that made all the difference in the world. And so, for this week, and next week, that’s a grand opportunity to witness. And I would suggest that you do that. At any rate, I hope you had a great Christmas. If you have your Bible open it to Acts 9:1 through 18, as we return to our study of the book of Acts. Before we do that, let’s pray. Father, thank you for Christmas. Thank you that you came. Thank you. Thank you, that you called us to yourself. Thank you for the revelation of yourself, love, deep, abiding, real, forgiving, merciful, gentle, generous. Father, we praise you and we worship you. You know there are people listening to this broadcast whose Christmas has been a hard one and there was the loss of loved ones, who was going to wind the clock, listening for footfalls that were, that were not there this year. There are people who have significant problems with the darkness during this time. And so Father, I lift those people before you, that you would meet them at the point of the dark and bring your light. And then Father, some of us just had a great time and that’s because of you, the God of our laughter. Father, as we study your word on this broadcast, we pray for the one who teaches, do forgive him his sins, because there are many, we would see Jesus and him only. And we pray in Jesus name. Amen. Alright. I’m reading from the first verse of the ninth chapter of the book of Acts through the ninth verse of the ninth chapter of the book of Acts. This is one of the most important events, literally in the history of the world. What happened in these verses changed the world forever. What happened in these verses is unbelievable, incredible in it’s impact. The change it brought in human civilization is beyond estimation. It’s the time when the apostle Paul was drawn to Christ. C.S. Lewis said.
To say, I was searching for God, was like saying a mouse was searching for a cat.
That’s true. And a good illustration of it, is this text.
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 journeyed, he approached Damascus, and suddenly a light from heaven flashed about him. And he fell to the ground and heard a voice saying, “Saul, Saul, why do you persecute 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 arose from the ground, and when his eyes were opened, he could see nothing. So they led him by the hand and brought him into Damascus. And for three days he was without sight, and he 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.” And the Lord said, “Rise and go to the street called Strait, and inquire in the house of Judas for a man of Tarsus named Saul, and behold, he is praying, and he has seen a man named Ananias come and lay 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 thy saints in Jerusalem. And here he has authority from the chief priests to bind all who call upon 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 the Kings and the sons 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 that you may regain your sight and be filled with the Holy Spirit.” And immediately something like scales fell from Paul’s eyes, and he regained his sight. Then he rose and was baptized; and took food, and was strengthened.
Well, I said that we would go down to the ninth verse. I meant to say the 19th verse. And I just read to you the story that changed the world. The apostle Paul was anointed, ordained before he was ever born to be God’s firebrand, to be the one that God used to take the church, to cause her to pull up her skirts and run into the entire world. And this is where it happened. It’s a good story. I mean, Paul was bad. I mean, he was really evil. He didn’t just say bad things about Christians. He went after them and persecuted them. And we have seen that when Stephen was martyred, it was Paul standing there watching it and holding the clothes of Stephen while it happened. I’ll tell you something, that’ll play with your brain. That’ll make you think. And when Stephen knelt down and looked up into the sky and said, Lord, forgive them, Paul, must’ve been absolutely blown away. And from that day after it haunted. When he went to Jerusalem to ask for letters to the synagogue, so he could ferret out those who were Christians and persecute them and throw them into prison and see them even executed. Even when he did that, he thought of Stephen and he thought of the other Christians who stood and he thought of the ones that he had hated and persecuted and destroyed, and he wasn’t getting much sleep. But on the road to Damascus, the cat caught the mouse, on the road to Damascus, Paul came to Christ and changed the world. Now I said at the beginning of this broadcast that we were going to talk about minor characters and I didn’t have time to get to that, but I’ll tell you something. We are, this week and next week going to talk about Ananias Et al. Ananias and the minor character he was, and the way God used him in such a magnificent way. He does, you know. I’m a minor character. And so are you. And when God calls us and we are faithful to the plan, he is ordained. People like us, unimportant, change the world for Jesus. Hey. You think about that. Amen.
Thank you Steve. That was Steve Brown, taking us back into the book of Acts. And specifically today Acts 9:10-18. We will drill further into this text all week. Sure, hope you’ll join us on this adventure. Well, here at the end of the year, it’s a normal inclination to take stock of your life and experiences in the last 12 months. Have you had some losses, maybe you’ve lost someone dear to you. Maybe some of those losses were expected, but maybe some were sudden and tragic. The hymn writer, Horatio Spafford suffered losses that were of the second kind, his young sung perished in a fire and his four daughters died in a shipwreck. And yet, he penned the classic hymn, It Is Well With My Soul. Steve used that hymn as the title of a very powerful sermon that reminds us that despite our suffering, we are treasured, shepherded and preserved by Jesus. Would you let us send you that sermon on a CD for free? Just call us at 1-800-KEY-LIFE. That’s 1-800-539-5433. You can also e-mail [email protected] to ask for that CD. If you’d like to mail your request, send it to
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