From This to That… It’s a Process…

Acts 9:10-19 inspired Rev. Bonnie Osteen’s sermon last Sunday.

Take a moment to read it now. If you don’t have a Bible with you, click the Scripture reference to read it online at BibleGateway.com.

In her message, Pastor Bonnie focused on the transformation taking place in Saul that caused him to become Paul. Zealous persecutor of the Way to faithful church-planter and New Testament writer.

She took us back to consider the first question Saul asked on the road to Damascus when he heard the Lord call his name: Who are you, Lord? and compared it with Ananias’s response when the Lord called his name: Here I am, Lord.

We see one who does not know the Lord and another who knows Him well enough to make himself available for His use. Both of these men had encounters with God. Both at different points in their faith. Each living out a faith story.

Ananias hears the Lord’s command but then hesitates in fulfilling it…

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.”
Acts 9:13-14
Basically, Ananias questions Jesus’s knowledge and understanding of the situation: Look, I don’t know about this. I’ve heard from some reliable people that this guy is bad news! 

Ananias questions the Lord’s authority and power: You know this Saul guy has authority from the chief priests to arrest anyone who believes in You.
Hmmmm. Ananias may have been ready to say, Here I am, Lord, but then he heard what the Lord wanted him to do. Suddenly, he began to doubt all he knew about Jesus. Ananias still had a lot of growing to do to get from this to that.
All Believers have a story where we encounter the Lord for the first time and have grown to some point where we are ready to say Yes to Him.
Ananias shows us we don’t move from unbeliever to completely-sold-out-follower-of-Christ-walking-perfectly-in-His Way over night. It’s a process.
The process of coming to know Him to growing in Him is our faith story. A series of faith stories, really, making up the whole. Our stories continue to be written everyday with every choice we make each time we hear Him call our name.

Pastor Bonnie challenged us on Sunday to share our faith story with someone this week. A challenge that inspired Grow Team to offer a place on the blog for you to share your story.
Every Friday, from now until Advent will be Faith Story Friday. The first one has already been written and will appear this Friday.
Let us hear from you. Email your story to stacy@jacksonvillemethodist.org and we’ll post it here.
We are all in process, growing from this to that. Help others grow by sharing what you’ve experienced on your journey.
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