Don't kick against the Goads part 2 w/ Pastor Chuck Ramsey
GOD is ALIVE!
We often worship Him like He is not alive but He lived a great life at one time. God alive means He will suprise you and disappoint you. Ask Abraham, Noah, the disciples. If you spend more time and energy remembering what He has done as opposed to following Him, you have made Him an idol. Idols don't surprise you or disappoint you, they are predictable, sterile, safe, sanitized. Our God is alive and He is nomadic, He is always moving, surprising, and disappointing.
We preach sermons like His best days are behind Him, like He is a retired Hall of Famer. I want to preach sermons like He is alive, like He's about to do something great in the earth, like His best days are just ahead and they include Him using me and you in significant ways.
Paul -- tell us your story, what was it like?
On my way to Damascus, I couldn't wait to catch some more men and women praying. I was seething mad, I hated Christians. I loved terrorizing them, seeing them get their heads chopped off, watching them get thrown into prison.
Then. what happened?
Paul's followers -- tell us your side of the story.
We've never seen anything like it, ever. It was amazing. That was the brightest light we've ever seen. It had to come from heaven. There is no light on earth like it.
Ananias -- tell us your side of the story.
Well, you know that God was doing a special work in Damascus. He had revealed to me that Jesus was the Messiah. People were coming to Christ and growing in their faith.
Christians in Damascus -- tell us your side of the story.
Well, we had heard that Saul was coming to our city and that the chief priest had given him the documentation that would aloow him to persecute our families.
God -- tell us your side of the story.
Well, you know how I like to do things in unique ways. My ways are kind of different than your ways. I like to give barren women children, especially older barren women. Ask Abraham or Moses. They know, I can be fairly creative. Noah - I thought he was going to lose his mind when I told him how big the ark needed to be. And, Jonah, well that one kind of got out of hand. When it comes to Saul, or Paul, well, I thought how can I reveal my heart to the people I love so much.
From verse 1 - breathing murderous threats to verse 20 proclaiming Jesus is Lord!
2 Corinthians 5:17
Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.
But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, Ipress on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.
1 Timothy 1:15
Here is a trustworthy saying that deserves full acceptance: Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners--of whom I am the worst.
But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions--it is by grace you have been saved. And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus, in order that in the coming ages he might show the incomparable riches of his grace, expressed in his kindness to us in Christ Jesus. For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith--and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God--not by works, so that no one can boast.
I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power throough his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the Lord's holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know his love that surpasses knowledge--that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God. Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.
Don't kick against the goads
Blindness--you might be confused about what is happening in your life right now.
Don't believe everything you've heard...
-What you've heard can keep you from believing God's word
-Life is a fight between what you've heard and what God's calling you to do
-Don't try to tell God anything about what He's calling you to do
-This is why Bible Study and prayer are foundational to your life
-Satan challenged Adam and Eve in the garden by saying, "did God really say..."
-He did the same to Jesus after He fasted 40 days in the wilderness
If you'll stop kicking against the goads, and stop believing "what you have heard", and you simply do what God has told you to do, the scales will fall from your eyes...
So the church throughout all Judea and Galilee and Samaria had peace and was being built up. And walking in the fear of the Lord and in the comfort of the Holy Spirit, it Multiplied.