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May 17, 2105 - Faith or Fear? - Acts 9:10-19a

posted May 18, 2015, 6:38 AM by Grant Garber   [ updated May 18, 2015, 6:39 AM ]
  • The Lord’s commission to the church, especially when it is afraid and hiding behind its own walls, is “Get up and go!”
  • Today’s text is another conversion story.  Ananias was converted from fear and hiding to a mission and the embrace of his enemy.
  • The only successful way the church has ever responded to persecution is by reaching out to its tormentor saying, “Brother Saul.”
  • The problem isn't Saul, or Ananias, or whoever is different from us.  The problem, as President Roosevelt said long ago, is “fear itself.”
  • As Saul the persecutor was transformed to Paul an apostle of the church, and as Ananias was transformed from being afraid to getting up and going to his persecutor, so does our country need to be transformed.
  • God’s ways are not our ways, but He never leaves us alone.  His message is always the same.  “It is time to get up and go to the person who makes you afraid – and bless that person.”
  • The church was placed on the earth in part to resist this evil.  But we do that differently than the Department of Homeland Security.  The place where the followers of Jesus begin their war on terror is not by fretting over them, but by exploring and confessing the evil in our own hearts.  We confess this, find forgiveness, and then receive the perfect love of God that casts out fear.  This is where we put our faith – in the God of grace who is with us.
  • Let at least the members of the church of Jesus Christ stand in our nation as people who know how to be unafraid – so unafraid that we can resist evil by being a blessing to the people who only want to hurt us.  But the only way we can say, “Brother Saul” is if we have in the love of God that flutters by us every day.
Pastor Jim Spon | Acts 9:10-19a