This is our last day of looking at those who were ALL OUT for God. I hope this helps you to see how diverse their gifts were and what a difference their obedience made.
I want to jump to the New Testament and talk about the man who wanted to bring change. Of course, I am talking about Paul. It is getting harder and harder for me not to just preach. How can you say only a few things about Paul?
I want to focus on his passion and the fact that he was always going ALL OUT in whatever he believed. No one had to persuade him to be passionate; he WAS passionate. No one had to talk him into being bold or cheer him on to keep up his enthusiasm. No, he was definitely bringing change to the land, like it or not!
Most of you are familiar with his story of bringing change. The Apostle Paul started as Saul, one of Christianity's most zealous enemies. He killed Christians to protect his religious beliefs and those of the nation. However, he was hand-picked by God to become the most ardent messenger of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
Saul became a world changer—just not the way he expected. He had called himself to protect the traditions that were held sacred at the time. But when he had an encounter with Jesus, it rocked his world so that he could rock people’s worlds throughout eternity.
Acts 9:1-2 NKJV
1 Then Saul, still breathing threats and murder against the disciples of the Lord, went to the high priest
2 and asked letters from him to the synagogues of Damascus, so that if he found any who were of the Way, whether men or women, he might bring them bound to Jerusalem.
Saul wanted to bring change by destroying those Christians who were intent on changing things, but God had a plan.
Acts 9:3-5 NKJV
3 As he journeyed he came near Damascus, and suddenly a light shone around him from Heaven.
4 Then he fell to the ground, and heard a voice saying to him, "Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting Me?"
5 And he said, "Who are You, Lord?" Then the Lord said, "I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting. It is hard for you to kick against the goads."
This dramatic encounter was needed to uproot someone so entrenched in what he had been taught. He was taught by the most learned in the land. At that time, they were operating in the Old Testament commandments and instructions.
But it was time for Saul’s enlightenment. A light from Heaven blinded him to the natural things, and all he could see and hear was a heavenly interruption that was specifically for him. The thing I want you to take note of is that Saul (soon to be known as Paul the Apostle) knew immediately that change needed to happen. This time it was not for those terrible, troubling Christians, but for himself.
He acknowledged that Jesus was there. He acknowledged that this was happening for a purpose, and he wanted to know what his part was. I love that, don’t you?
Acts 9:6 NKJV
So he, trembling and astonished, said, "Lord, what do You want me to do?" Then the Lord said to him, "Arise and go into the city, and you will be told what you must do."
We know that while Saul could not see anything in the natural for three days, God was cleaning OUT ALL that needed to be cleaned out and installing new revelation into Paul. He would be changed into one who would travel tirelessly through the ancient world, taking the message of salvation to the Gentiles.
Paul’s messages make up two thirds of our New Testament. They are what we turn to for instruction and help in our Christian walk. He went ALL OUT. He didn’t care what the persecution was. He wasn’t taken off course by others’ opinions. He no longer cared about his status, just that Jesus’ name was lifted high. He cared that people were given the ability to have their own encounters and be changed as he was. His passion was to share the truth of Jesus and to declare who He was and why He came.
Oh, Paul’s glorious conversion has been experienced by every born-again believer! In the same way Paul was set on a new path and had a new opportunity to bring change, so God is looking for you. Paul brought change, once he was changed. ALL OUT will require encounters with God. You will bring change, as you are changed.
I am believing God for these encounters, for us corporately as a church and for every individual in 2019. This challenge of being ALL OUT is coming into reality for us.
I know God is bringing change. He desires to meet us on whatever road we are currently journeying. He desires to shake out those things that need to be shaken and install those things that need to be installed. God is looking for a person and a people who will recognize who He is when He announces Himself as Jesus to them. God is looking for a people who will understand that their encounters have a purposeful end. They realize they are the end-time people who will be passionate about accomplishing whatever assignment God has for them.
We must understand that God is going to give us many opportunities to be ALL OUT for Him this year. To do it correctly, we must stay ALL IN, seeking Him as the utmost priority of our life, and ALL IN with each other so that we can accomplish more.
Each one of you has so many unique qualities. Each one of you should look forward to your own personal encounters that will bring change to change the world.
Lord, Paul is a hard one to identify with if we forget to take into account that we already have been changed from darkness to light with our first encounter with You.
If you have not had this encounter with Him, then please know, Jesus came to be YOUR Savior. He went ALL OUT, hanging on a cross that held all your sins, all your mistakes, and the good news is that he did it for YOU. And the most wonderful news of all is that the price He paid cost Him everything so that you could have salvation for free. FREE to all who will acknowledge Him.
So, this is your invitation to have your first personal encounter with God that will change you from the inside out. Just acknowledge Jesus, as not only the Son of God, but as the one who has called you to Himself for purpose. And ask Him to come into your heart and be your Lord and Savior, and He will. In fact, He died for this moment!
He is here for YOU because He loves you, and He designed you to be a part of Him, a part of His family, and experience not only everlasting life, but life abundantly in the here and now. As you receive Him, you will find your desires will change and the path you are on will be changed into something that can also impact the world. Welcome to the family of God. If you need more info on this, please let us know.
So Lord, thank you for souls. And thank You that You have called us to be a part of Your last days Church that will experience all You have reserved for this timeframe in history. Thank You for our first encounter with You at salvation. But Lord, we are not stopping and being satisfied with that. NO! We want to encounter You, every day. We want to be the change You are bringing to the earth. We are thrilled to be a part of what is on Your heart, and to operate as You designed us to operate. We don’t just love You, we are IN LOVE with You. You are changing our hearts and minds just like You did Paul’s, and we will change the world with the truth that we find about You when we are with You. Thank You so much, Lord. We enter into this year with You. And we are dreaming about what that means and believe we can have more than ever before. Grant it Lord,
in Jesus’ name we pray, Amen.
So, for all of us, as we look at 2019 we must realize that the number 19 means God’s perfect order, and He is bringing us into His order.
That means that God is going to reveal any disorder, and He will ask us to let His light shine on us and do whatever is necessary to bring us back into the divine order He has purposed for us.
As we are willing to do this, He is going to announce who He is to us in the deepest ways possible. I can’t wait to experience all that He has for us together!
How He Loves - Kim Walker Smith - Jesus Culture
Love that Saves - Chris McClarney
Your Love is Strong – Cory Asbury
What was your “ah-ha” moment?
How can you apply this in your relationship with God, and what changes will you have to make?
How can this help you with your family?
How can this help you with others in your daily life?
Think BIG: By applying these truths, how are you expecting this to impact your family, others I your everyday life, your city, and the world?