“And Saul, yet breathing out threatenings and slaughter against the disciples of the Lord, went unto the high priest, And desired of him letters to Damascus to the synagogues, that if he found any of this way, whether they were men or women, he might bring them bound unto Jerusalem. And as he journeyed, he came near Damascus: and suddenly there shined round about him a light from heaven: And he fell to the earth, and heard a voice saying unto him, Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou me? And he said, Who art thou, Lord? And the Lord said, I am Jesus whom thou persecutest: it is hard for thee to kick against the pricks. And he trembling and astonished said, Lord, what wilt thou have me to do? And the Lord said unto him, Arise, and go into the city, and it shall be told thee what thou must do. And the men which journeyed with him stood speechless, hearing a voice, but seeing no man. And Saul arose from the earth; and when his eyes were opened, he saw no man: but they led him by the hand, and brought him into Damascus. And he was three days without sight, and neither did eat nor drink.” (Acts 9:1-9 KJV)
So many times in our lives we can’t see the truth for the worldliness that surrounds us and fills our lives and our hearts. We walk around in this world completely blinded by all of the lies that satan has to offer us. The Lord has said in Revelation 20:15 ” And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire. ” Yet so many people wonder aimlessly around ignoring the love, grace and mercy of God. The devil has deceived them and walking about like a roaring lion (1 Peter 5:8 KJV) has devoured them and their soul. Mankind has turned away from God and has ignored His pleadings to follow Him.
”And when He had called the people unto Him with His disciples also, He said unto them, Whosoever will come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me” (Mark 8:34 KJV). The Bible is plain that as Christians we should not be part of the world but set apart from the world. ” Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you,” (2 Corinthians 6:17 KJV). ” But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of Him who hath called you out of darkness into His marvellous light :” (1 Peter 2:9 KJV).
Saul on the road to Damascus gives us the perfect picture of mankind’s heart today and the transforming power of the presence of God in your life. Saul was journeying on the road to Damascus fully under the influence of satan and determined to do the will of the devil. Saul was living his life out after the will of his flesh and was persecuting the people of God. While Saul was in his most sinful and wicked state, God came to him (Acts 9:1-9). God revealed himself to him and Saul acknowledged who he was. As soon as Saul heard the voice of God, he called Him Lord but in unbelief. This is where so many of us live today. We see the mighty works of God. We receive the amazing blessings of God and yet we fail to place Him as Lord of our hearts and lives. ” Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me .” (Revelation 3:20 KJV) The Lord is pleading with us daily to come to Him and to follow Him.
The Spirit of God shone round about Saul and there was an instant in His life when Saul saw God for who He was. He saw Him high and lifted up. He saw Him as Saviour and Saul’s life was completely changed. Saul became blinded by the Spirit to the things of the world. You too can experience this life-changing event. ” For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life. For God sent not His Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through Him might be saved” (John 3:16-17 KJV). ” Whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved” (Romans 10:13 KJV). After acknowledging God as Lord and after Saul made God the Lord of his life he was no longer known as Saul but as Paul. The love of God deep within the heart of man changes the man. You are never the same after having come to the saving knowledge of who He is. ” Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new (2 Corinthians 5:17 KJV).
Saul was blinded by the Spirit and could no longer see the things of the world. During this experience he was led by the hand everywhere he went. The Lord says, “Follow Me” (Matthew 4:19). We cannot possibly follow Jesus if our eyes are focused on the world. We cannot possibly do the will of God if our heart is centered on the things of the world. We must, like Saul, have a life-changing event. We must see God for who He is and give Him the place He deserves in our lives. We must come to Jesus in full repentance and ask Him to forgive us our sins and to be Lord of our lives (Romans 10:9-10). And after we have claimed Him as Saviour we must come to Him daily to cleanse us from the world, to wash the dust of the world from our minds, hearts and lives. ” If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness ” (1 John 1:9 KJV). ” Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid. Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven ” (Matthew 5:14-16 KJV). Be blinded by the Spirit, ” For we walk by faith, not by sight ” (2 Corinthians 5:7 KJV).
Friends are one of God’s greatest blessings. I know in many people’s lives, they have made the difference between sadness and happiness, loneliness and fulfillment. Having friends helps give meaning to many people’s lives. Join us in this program, Friends Are a Gift From God, as Kim Miller of Woman at the Well Ministries takes us through Proverbs 18:24, which says, "A man that hath friends must shew himself friendly: and there is a friend that sticketh closer than a brother."All Sermons by Kimberly Miller