2021-5-26, Youth Midweek, Being Spiritually F.A.T., Acts

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Do you want to have a significant role in God’s work in the world? Do you want to be used to lead people into the kingdom and help them grow as Christians?
Then it is important to become spiritually F.A.T. Christians. This is an acronym that stands for
Faithful, Available, and Teacheable.
If you ask God to help you be spiritually F.A.T., and if you discipline yourself to be so, then some day late in life you will look back with a lot of joy and peace at all the amazing things God allowed you to be a part of- all the lives you had a hand in changing.
Tonight I want to talk about a spiritual F.A.T. person. His name is Ananias. He had a significant role in the Apostle Paul’s conversion. The way that God used him ultimately affected the salvation of millions of people.
Let me set the stage. Before Paul is called Paul, he is called Saul. He is a Pharisee, a rigid and zealous religious leader of the Jews. Saul was no friend of Jesus or His followers. So, after Jesus was crucified, buried, resurrected, and ascended, Saul decided to go on a crusade to arrest or kill the Jews who followed Jesus.
Acts 9:1–2 ESV
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.
But God had other plans for Saul than to be a persecutor of His church. The risen Jesus confronted him on the road to Damascus.
Acts 9:3–9 ESV
Now as he went on his way, he approached Damascus, and suddenly a light from heaven shone around him. And falling to the ground, he heard a voice saying to him, “Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting 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 rose from the ground, and although his eyes were opened, he saw nothing. So they led him by the hand and brought him into Damascus. And for three days he was without sight, and neither ate nor drank.
This sets the stage for Ananias.
First, we know that Ananias was faithful to the Lord.
Acts 9:10 ESV
Now there was a disciple at Damascus named Ananias. The Lord said to him in a vision, “Ananias.” And he said, “Here I am, Lord.”
1. Luke calls him a disciple. This means that he actively followed the Lord Jesus. He let Jesus lead.
2. We know he was in fellowship with other believers in Damascus (9:19). We also know that He believed in the Lord Jesus.
3. He met with the Lord in prayer regularly. I think we can safely assume that was praying like he normally did when the Lord spoke to him in a vision.
All of this means that Ananias abided in Christ. He cultivated his relationship with Jesus.
Okay, how are you being faithful? What do you need to be faithful?
-Abide (pray and cover yourself with the Word, memorize Scripture, repent of sin)
Ananias was also available.
What did he say when the Lord spoke to him in the vision?
Acts 9:10–12 ESV
Now there was a disciple at Damascus named Ananias. The Lord said to him in a vision, “Ananias.” And he said, “Here I am, Lord.” And the Lord said to him, “Rise and go to the street called Straight, and at the house of Judas look for a man of Tarsus named Saul, for behold, he is praying, and he has seen in a vision a man named Ananias come in and lay his hands on him so that he might regain his sight.”
Ananias responded when the Lord called His name, “Here I am, Lord.” This is really a “Your wish is my command type os phrase.” Ananias didn’t say, “Wait a minute?” or “Hold up one.” Ananias responded with immediate availability.
Then he acted on it...
Acts 9:17 ESV
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 so that you may regain your sight and be filled with the Holy Spirit.”
He didn’t finish up what he was doing, he went right away.
We are all pretty busy people. We make ourselves busy. But we make ourselves available to the things we feel are important.
Do you think the Lord’s work is important enough to make yourself available to do it?
We have to make ourselves available. One way we can do this is to work margin into our schedules. Have some downtime, so you can say “Here am I, Lord”
Now there is a little conversation that happens between Ananias and the risen Jesus which shows that he is teachable.
Acts 9:13–16 ESV
But Ananias answered, “Lord, I have heard from many about this man, how much evil he has done to your saints at Jerusalem. And here he has authority from the chief priests to bind all who call on 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 kings and the children of Israel. For I will show him how much he must suffer for the sake of my name.”
Ananias had a slight problem with going to Saul- the fact that Saul was a murderer and persecutor of Christians.
I guess Ananias thought that Jesus had perhaps forgotten that fact.
But the Lord told him the complete picture. Saul was God’s chosen instrument for Christ’s sake.
Saul would suffer much for the cause of Christ.
With this new information, Ananias accepted it and went to do his task.
Acts 9:17–22 ESV
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 so that you may regain your sight and be filled with the Holy Spirit.” And immediately something like scales fell from his eyes, and he regained his sight. Then he rose and was baptized; and taking food, he was strengthened. For some days he was with the disciples at Damascus. And immediately he proclaimed Jesus in the synagogues, saying, “He is the Son of God.” And all who heard him were amazed and said, “Is not this the man who made havoc in Jerusalem of those who called upon this name? And has he not come here for this purpose, to bring them bound before the chief priests?” But Saul increased all the more in strength, and confounded the Jews who lived in Damascus by proving that Jesus was the Christ.
A lot of times we are not teachable people. If you respond to others with comments like, “I already know that...” or “Tell me something new...” or “You’re not qualified to tell me anything...” or “I’m just not getting fed here...” then these are all signs that you are not teachable.
This is particularly annoying when you respond to God like this. “God you don’t understand...”
If you want to be used by God in a big way, you need to be teachable. Part of this is realizing that God can use anyone to teach you (maybe even a kid younger than you). Maybe even someone that you think is less than you.
On other letter to work in is R. This means spiritually reproducible. If you can have in your mind seeing other people become believers who lead others to be believers and so on, then you’re really walking with the heart of God.
We could put it on the end and just say FATR
Maybe after the F for FRAT
Maybe…you all are gross
What this week can you do to be faithful?
What can you do to be available?
What can you do to be teachable?
What about being spiritually reproducible?
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