North Anderson Baptist Church
Who’s Your One - 2020 - A Very Special ONE
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  • North Anderson Baptist Church
    2308 N Main St, Anderson, SC 29621, United States
    Sunday 10:30 AM
There have been men whose lives were completely changed by God while they were searching for ways to discredit, Christianity in general, the Lord Jesus Christ and His resurrection in specific.
Josh McDowell

“McDowell was born in Union City, Michigan, in 1939 with the given name Joslin. He is one of five children born to Wilmot McDowell. Sr. Biographer Joe Musser indicates that McDowell struggled with low self-esteem in his youth, as his father was an alcoholic and abusive. He enlisted in the Air National Guard, received basic training and assumed duties in mechanical maintenance of aircraft. According to McDowell, he was an agnostic at college when he decided to prepare a paper that would examine the historical evidence of the Christian faith in order to disprove it. “He truly believed that Christianity was worthless. However, when challenged to intellectually examine the claims of Christianity, Josh discovered compelling, overwhelming evidence for the reliability of the Christian faith. After trusting in Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord, Josh’s life changed dramatically as he experienced the power of God’s love.
Lee Strobel

“Strobel was an atheist when he began investigating the biblical claims about Christ after his wife's conversion. Prompted by the results of his investigation, he became a Christian at the age of 29.”

For Lee Strobel, asking the hard-hitting questions comes naturally.
An award-winning investigative journalist trained in both journalism and law at Harvard University, Strobel quickly climbed the ladder at the Chicago Tribune in the 1980's, where he was promoted to the prestigious role of legal affairs editor.

So, when his wife Leslie converted to Christianity shortly after their marriage, Strobel, a hard-nosed atheist, put his journalistic and legal skills to work, attempting to disprove the existence of God.

However, after an in-depth investigation of Christianity, including numerous interviews with biblical scholars and historians, Strobel found his heart, mind, and entire worldview radically transformed. He became a Christian at the age of 29.

Today, he is one of the world's leading Christian apologists and has written a number of award-winning books in defense of Christianity, including "The Case for Christ," which details his radical conversion story.”
There is also a Biblical figure found in the book of Acts who sought to disprove the new belief of this Jesus from Nazareth, who was called the “Messiah” and the claim had been made that had been resurrected from the dead. This man did everything that he could to try to get rid of the followers of this “Messiah” through standing by watching them be killed and even seeking them out himself to put them in prison or even have them killed.

Our story starts in Acts 7:60 where we read, “And Saul was there, giving approval to his death.” (Speaking of the death of Stephen, the first Christian martyr.)

And the rest of this story continues in Acts 9:1-19.

Let’s look at this Scripture by dividing it into two parts,
1. Unlikely person chosen of God to save - v. 1-9
2. Unlikely person chosen of God to minister - v. 10-19
1. Unlikely person chosen of God to save - v. 1-9

From the title of this point we see that the person in the scripture we are going to talk about is an unlikely person for God to save. Why is that so?

Have you ever heard someone say, “If there ever was a person who couldn’t get saved, that man is one?” Sometimes I have heard preachers say that they had gone to a church to do a revival and the preacher will say, “We have a guy in our town who is so terrible that no one believes that God can save him. He doesn’t believe in God and has a drinking habit and runs around on his wife and doesn’t take care of his family like a father should. No one believes he will ever come to God.” Sometimes they will add, “We have given up on trying to reach him, so you might as well forget trying to get him to come to the revival.”

Isn’t that a sad statement from a pastor or just anyone. They have given up on a person that Jesus loves and died for. I understand, humanly, what they are saying but that doesn’t make it any better? Do you know of someone like that, that you may have said those same things about, or you have heard others say that about them?

Has God ever given up on someone? In reading a devotion this week from the Billy Graham book called “Wisdom for Each Day,” Billy Graham says, talking about people who have been praying for a loved one for years and years, that people wrote to him telling them that eventually that person they had been praying for came to faith in Jesus. Now, those folks might not have been the worst person around, just someone who was lost and needed someone to pray for them. Billy was saying in relation to the idea of continuing praying for those who are lost, that our timing and our ways are not God’s and that God rarely matches ours. He was saying that God can do what we can’t do. Just like those old drunks or the worst people in town that people think can’t get saved, God can do anything but that we need to continue to pray and not give up. No one is hopeless and only God can save, He can break through that old hard heart. Billy used Jeremiah 23:29, “Is not My Word...like a hammer that breaks a rock in pieces?” And then Billy asks, “For whom are you praying? Keep it up”

Are there people you have been praying for that just don't seem to change or listen to you or you don’t think that God is getting through? God is not you or me, He can do whatever He desires in a time frame that He knows is best. What should we do? Keep on praying for them, Billy says, God will answer your prayer in His time. 2 Peter 3:9, “The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. Instead he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.”
The person you are praying for may be an unlikely person chosen by God to save!

The Bible suggests that Saul was the most unlikely person chosen of God to save. He was a murderer and a hater of the people of “the Way.” He went as far as to get letters from the high priest to present to the synagogues in Damascus to arrest the followers of Christ and take them back to Jerusalem and put them in prison.

So, Saul is on his way, with others with him, to go to Damascus and something happens that changes his life. It is almost like both Lee Strobel and Josh McDowell, they went about to disprove Christianity and that the resurrection was false but they were confronted with the truth as they “were on their way.”

Jesus showed up!! A bright light shone from heaven during the midday and Saul was knocked off his horse to the ground and he heard a voice calling to him, the voice said, “Saul, Saul, why do you persecute me?” 5 “Who are you, Lord?” Saul asked.
“I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting,” he replied. 6 “Now get up and go into the city, and you will be told what you must do.”
Before Saul realized what was going on He was confronted by Jesus, the One who was the leader of those he sought to harm. It was a short and to the point conversation that Jesus had with this persecutor of the Christians. But Jesus didn’t say that Saul was persecuting the followers of Christ but of Christ Himself! This was the resurrected Jesus speaking to an unlikely man who hated what was happening to the Jewish religion by this sect founded upon Jesus who His followers claimed was resurrected from the dead after being crucified and dying and being buried.

Jesus then told Saul to go into Damascus and wait there until he was told what to do.

Do you know of some unlikely person whom God has called to be saved and then serve Him in His cause for the Kingdom?
Have you been praying for someone just like that? Are there people in your realm of friendship that might be an unlikely candidate to be saved and serve Christ?
Could that person be your ONE?
Are you unwilling to call out to God a person's name because you don’t think they are worthy to serve the Lord?

Little did Mike Adkins know, when he moved into his new house, that one of his new neighbors was "Weird Norman," the old eccentric every town seems to have. His first encounter with Norman confirmed that he was a strange character, to say the least. In the years that followed, however, the two men developed a warm and unusual friendship. And God used Norman to teach Mike what it means to obey one of the great commandments of Scripture: Love your neighbor as yourself. Mike also learned a simple trust in the Lord that was to change the whole course of his life. Through this story from Mike Adkins he tells of the salvation of Norman and how his life was changed too.

Who would have ever thought that “Weird Nortman” would ever be saved and have a worthy life?
Do you know any “Weird Normans?”


2. Unlikely person of God chosen to minister - v. 10-19

What a special story this is about Saul, the hater of the Christians. Jesus confronts him on his way to imprison believers and maybe even have them killed. And Jesus instead of destroying him calls him into the work of the Lord through first saving him and then in this part of the story commissioning him to go and serve the Lord.

But before the unlikely candidate for becoming a believer, Saul, can do all of this, Jesus uses a faithful servant of the church to do something he didn’t want to do. Ananias lived in Damascus and knew of this hater of the followers of Jesus. He knew Saul was coming to arrest all he could but Ananias didn’t know that God wanted him to be an integral part of the transformation of this man to Christ. Jesus called Ananias, in a vision, to go to a place where the man known as Saul, the persecutor of believers, was and place his hands on him so Saul’s eye sight might be restored.

Ananias didn’t say no but he did give out the objection that you would think he would have, that this man was dangerous to all who believed. God did not take lightly the delay in being obedient to His command of going to Saul, so He said again, Go! But God was willing to explain to Ananias that Saul was a chosen vessel of God to carry the name of God to the Gentiles, to their kings and even before Israel. God also takes the time to tell Ananias that Saul will have to suffer in doing what he is called to do.

I find that interesting that God would expand the message to Ananias to help him know how important this ministry was to which God had called him. So Ananias, an unlikely man for this ministry, obeyed and went to where Saul was and placed his hands on his eyes and the scales fell off where Saul could once again see and the Holy Spirit filled Saul’s life. Right away Saul was baptized and was to be discipled there for a few days.

This part of the Scripture reminds me that God will use who He desires to do what He has planned for mankind. Not only was Saul an unlikely choice to save and then go to minister throughout the known world but before God would allow that, He was to use a “plain and regular” believer to make the plan work for God’s purpose. Ananias was not a super disciple but one who responded to God’s call and if you realize the truth, it took some encouragement but he followed through and then went to work helping this new believer, Saul, to come to understand this new faith that he was ordained into. Discipleship doesn’t have to be done by an expert, a seasoned veteran of Christianity or by a preacher, but someone who God chose and a willing instrument from God's heart, being full of the Holy Spirit. God has a ministry for all of us but we will have to listen to His Word and then be willing to be obedient to God’s call.

How many of you out there today would be willing to pray and ask God to use them in the lives of others? Saul, later to become known as Paul, was God’s ONE! But so was Ananias! God called him as well and he fulfilled what only God was able to do in the power of the Holy Spirit through this one man.

Are you willing to be used by God?
Are you willing to allow God to take your life to help another who is lost to be saved?
Or, maybe God has chosen you to take, under your wing, a saved person to help grow them in the faith through your discipling them?

Think about your ONE.
Have you chosen a person who is lost? What do you think the Lord is calling you to do to reach them with the Gospel?
If you say, “I haven’t heard from the Lord about what to do?” What then is your next step? I suggest prayer! In prayer, God will give you the wisdom and direction you need to act in sharing the Gospel with them. (James 1:5, “If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you.”) Once God has spoken then be obedient!

Have you chosen a person who is saved but away from the Lord?
If so, there may be many ways to help that person to come back into the fold of God’s fellowship. Once again, we must pray and ask God for that wisdom. Seek to do whatever it takes to encourage your ONE to remind them of the love of God and how much God’s cares for them, their needs, their questions and their problems that they might have with the Lord or with the church.
Love them no matter what! But never give up. God loves them more than you do and He wants them more than you desire them to return to the Lord.

So today, the emphasis is that God may have chosen someone you would not have to save and then He also He may have chosen someone to help another, to minister to them, that you might not have chosen. That person might have been you!
Fellow Believers,
Never give up in helping someone come to know and love Jesus, their lives are worth the death of Jesus! And, never dismiss yourself from being that ONE that God wants to use to help Him change the life of someone else!

Invitation

Dear friend if you are reading this by way of the internet please know that you are loved and cared for. If you have no relationship with God the Father through Jesus Christ His Son, then I invite you to trust Him by faith and receive Him as your personal Savior. Jesus Christ died on the cross for the sin of everyone in the world that they may have eternal life. All of us have sinned and all are guilty before Almighty God who made us to have fellowship with Him. But sin broke that ability to have a relationship and Jesus has restored the possibility to know God personally through His sacrifice. Please know that if you will seek God and turn from your sin and pray He will respond with His love and give to you a personal relationship through your belief in His Son and the sacrifice He made just for you. He will call for a change in your life too. He wants you to follow Him, not the world, not your own desires, but to follow Jesus. That brings a life change when you turn from sin and self and by faith believe in Jesus Christ as your Savior and Lord. There is no Savior without Him being Lord of your life. Your willingness to change by following Him daily in your life will be the proof of your faith. When life throws its curves your way and you have found yourself broken by others or by the world let us introduce you to the only One who can help you…Jesus! You can write or call the office and we will follow up by contacting you. Office phone number is 864-225-2575 and the website address is www.northandersonbaptist.com and the physical address is 2308 N. Main St., Anderson, SC 29621. Dear friend if you are a believer and you have been touched by the Lord and you would like to talk to someone at the church just contact us in one of the ways you see above. If you are a believer and would like to talk about the church and your interest in being a part, please call and we can set up an appointment for you and get to know you. It would be a great pleasure to share our Lord’s love with you. This is a loving church and you are important to us, so please let us know what we can do for you in the Lord.Pastor Bill Rigsby

http://www.northandersonbaptist.com