Thursday, April 29, 2010

Acts 9: 3-6 GET RID OF YOUR JUNK

Have you had an experience that you would say, changed your whole life, or at least how you perceive life? I have, (almost drowning, a vision, experiencing child’s birth, etc.) Saul had a life changing experience that changed his life. It so changed his life that he got rid of his junk and started life with a new beginning.
Scripture:
Acts 9: 3-63 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.” 6 So he, trembling and astonished, said, “Lord, what do You want me to do?” 5. Then the Lord said to him, “Arise and go into the city, and you will be told what you must do.”

Lesson:
What kind of experience constitutes a life changing experience? For me it is those life-defining moments, when  God gets our attention? When things are going so good, we are on the mountain top, we look at life and just think of how WE have made it, (by our smarts, good looks, wit, who we know, etc.) Often time we fail to recognize God or give Him the credit.  However, we begin to see things a little different when crises smack us in the face (divorce, health problems, financial ruin, dying church, etc.)
God uses those experiences to get our attention. It is harder to look up when we're at the top of a mountain, (our eyes look across into the horizon or through the valley) but, when we are in the valley you can only look up. There is something about being in the pit, it is so much easier to recognize who God is and to cry out to God. It was not until Saul became blind did it occur to him to ask, “What do you want me to do?” 
When we are wrong, I mean dead wrong, how easy is it for us to recognize it? Not easy for we think we are right. It is even harder to admit it. But when we come into the presence of God we see truth, for God is truth. We are able to not only experience God we will see our true selves (our rights and wrongs.) We see the need for God in our lives. 
But hear this....When he encountered God, the experience with God changed his life. It was like he was born into a new life. That is why Christians call it, born in Christ God called Saul out of his past and gave him this new beginning. Did you hear that, his past was past? He began, a new man? You know, God did not tell him to clean up all the mistakes of the past. He just told him to walk in a different direction. When Paul said, What do you want me to do? God said, Do what I tell you to do. 
It does not matter what you did a minute ago or 5 years ago. Some individuals have a hard time putting all their junk in the trash can. Put it there and begin this new relationship now. Our lives in Christ is about the present and future, not the Past. 
Application:
1.     1.     Have you experience some life defining moments in your life?
2.     Could God be asking you, “Why have you been playing “religious” when you can have a true relationship with me?
3.     Are you satisfied with the relationship you have with God? Are the things you are doing bringing satisfaction?
4.     Has the relationship you have with Jesus changed your life?
5.     Are you so focus on righting your past that you fail to focus on the present?
6.     Are you willing to live in the present by saying, “Lord, What would you have me do?” It will change your life.

Prayer:
Dear Father, I have been living for myself and trying to adhere to all the rules, of being a “good” Christian. The truth is, I can never do enough to justify myself in your sight. I have sinned, and I accept Jesus as my redeemer. Help me to accept your forgiveness and move on with my life, the life you are calling me to live. Help me to seek you first, to establish an intimate relationship with you. Make me a new creature in you. In Jesus name I pray, Amen.