Randall Caselman

Bella Vista Church of Christ

10/15/2017 A.M.

 

I Surrender All

Becoming People God Can Use

Acts 3.1-13, 16, 4.3-4 & 13   Romans 12.6   

First Corinthians 12.4-6   Ephesians 4.11-13

 

All to Jesus I surrender

All to Him I freely give

I will ever love and trust Him

In His presence daily live.

 

Church..how many of us are willing to surrender all?… All?

 

Dwight L. Moody was born in 1837... Died in 1899 at age 62. Probably the most outstanding thing about D. L. Moody was his enthusiasm for evangelism. As a member of a congregational church in Chicago... Moody began inviting people to church services. Those he invited were not ordinary folk... But street people... The poor...The homeless... The bum... Alcoholics... Prostitutes... Those no one else would think of inviting.

 

The church fathers asked him to stop. So Moody... With his own money... Rented... Rented...The back four pews in the church building... So he could bring who he wanted. Finally... The church leaders stopped all his efforts.

 

Later he began an undenominational congregation on the shores of Lake Michigan which grew to be one of the largest churches in the 1800s. The first time he tried to preach before an audience... One of the deacons said... Brother Moody... Don’t ever try that again... You were terrible... Your voice is weak... Your mannerism embarrassing... And your English atrocious.

 

Dwight Moody looked at him and said... Your voice is strong... Your manner good...Your English proper... Why don’t you share Jesus with others?...

 

Well...We might not agree with Moody’s theology... But he certainly asked the right question... A question that we must all answer...

• What are we gonna do with our life?...

• What are we going to do with all that God has given us?... We are the world’s most blessed people… Think about it... A-l-l To Jesus I Surrender...

Can we sing this song with integrity?...

Knowing full well that we are not giving our all?

That our surrender is not total?

 

Come... Let’s see what we can learn

First of all... Let’s establish what God expects of us?

Does he really want us to surrender ourselves in His Service...

 

Jesus gives us a glimpse of His expectation in the parable of the TALENTS. One man was given five talents... One two... Another one. When the Master of the house returned... Faithfulness was not determined by how many talents a servant had been given... But rather by what he did with his gifts.

 

Listen to Paul from Romans chapter 12... First Corinthians... And Ephesians 4... Since we have gifts that differ according to the grace given to us... Each of us is to exercise them accordingly... Now there are varieties of gifts... But the same Spirit... And there are varieties of ministries... Yet the same Lord... He gave some as apostles... And some as prophets... And some as evangelists... And some as pastors and teachers... For the equipping of the saints... For the work of service... To the building up of the body of Christ.

 

There’s no way that we can misunderstand these verses.

God wants us to make use of the... Gifts... Talents... Blessings... He has given us.

 

Now that we know this...

Let’s rehearse a New Testament Narrative about how it’s done...

See what we can learn.

 

We’re at the Temple Courts in Jerusalem... It’s three o’clock in the afternoon. Peter and John are entering the Temple area for the traditional time of prayer. A beggar... A man cripple from birth... Has been carried there so he can ask for help. People who were... physically...Socially... And financially... bankrupt... Were laid at the Temple Gate. As Peter and John approach... He asked for alms... He wants money. Peter says... Silver and gold... Money... I have none... But what I do have... I will give to you. We must know that God’s children... Genuine New Testament Christians... Are those who are... Willing to surrender... Willing to be used by God.

 

Like Peter and John... All of us stand at the Temple Gate...

What are we going to do with the gifts that God has given us?

How do we become people God can use?

 

First...We note that God uses those with right motive.

Here Peter and John are coming to the Temple to pray... They wanted to be right with God.

These two Apostles were doing right things... At the right time.

They were in the right place at the right time... For god to use them.

• Enoch was doing right... And God took him home with Him.

• Noah was doing right... And God used him to save mankind.

• Abraham was doing right... And God used him to bless the world with Jesus.

• David was doing right... And God used him to deliver the Israelites from the Philistines.

• The Apostles were where Jesus asked them to be on Pentecost... And God used them to start His church.

• Phillip was on a mission trip to Samaria... And God used him to convert a Queen’s treasure.

 

When I say pure motive... I want you to contrast Peter and John here... with Ananias and Sapphira... Just two more chapters over in Acts five. 

 

Church...How do we want to be used... How do we want to be remembered... In the Kingdom?... Like Peter and John or Ananias and Sapphira?... Sobering question... Right?

 

Jesus repeatedly warns against doing our acts of righteousness... Giving alms... Praying... Fasting... Going to church... For the wrong reason... Out of an improper motive.

 

Jesus says... People who do things out of improper motive already have their reward... Their reward is all wrapped up in their bragging rights.

 

Church...Just mark it down... When we start talking about what great things we have done in the church... When we use the big I... We can know that God is displeased with us.

We can know that we have yet to surrender our pride and ego.

 

Total surrender is understanding that Christianity is more than ritual.

We can’t help from noticing here that there seems to be...

 

• A connection between... the church...The Christian... Between children of God... And helping others.

 

• Between worshipping & serving God... And serving our fellow man. Christianity is more than a Sunday morning ritual... More than a Sunday morning habit... More than coming to church.

 

• James tells us that... Pure religion... Religion that God accepts is this, To look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.

 

• Paul says in Romans six... That after baptism... We are to become instruments of righteousness.

 

• In Romans 12... He says that... Reasonable and acceptable Worship and service to God includes our becoming living sacrifices... It’s about becoming people God can use...

 

• In Ephesians 2... We find that God created us... Saved us... To do good works that He chose us to do before we were born.

 

• Jesus contends that as often as we do good to others... We are doing them to Him.

 

Indeed... God uses those who understand that religion is more than a Sunday affair... It’s allowing God to use us in our daily walk.

It’s surrendering to Jesus.

 

God uses those who are willing to be interrupted.

Our world is so caught up in proper scheduling that we seldom respond to interruptions.

 

I believe some of our most useful moments are those that are unplanned... IMPROMPTU.

 

Of the sixty evangelistic encounters recorded in the Book of Acts... One third of them were... unplanned... Impromptu...moments.

 

Moments where God brings us into contact with others who are in need... And we interrupt and serve... We must JUST DO IT!!... We must surrender!

 

In Jesus’ narrative of the Good Samaritan... The Priest and the Levi were doing Good... They... Like Peter and John... Were on their way from serving in theTemple... But they were unwilling to be interrupted... And Jesus condemned them for their unwillingness.

 

The Good Samaritan lives in eternal legion because he was willing to be interrupted.

 

As Brother McLarty asked last week... Do we have a file for that?...

• Being interrupted in order to serve the Jesus in others...

• Interrupted to become God’s instruments of righteousness?

 

God uses those who... see And are sensitive to... The needs of others.

Jesus is our example... In John chapter nine... He healed a blind man.

• The Pharisees saw a problem with healing on the Sabbath.

• The Apostles saw a theological question about who had sinned... This man or his parents?

Jesus saw a person in need... And a chance to let God’s glory be seen.

• The people saw this man everyday... He had just become another fixture at the Temple gate.

 

What would we have seen... Had we been there with Peter and John that day?

More importantly... WHAT DO WE SEE TODAY?...

 

• Peter could have said... You’ve got a legitimate need... But our prayer service starts in five minutes... John and I understand your need... But you’ve caught us at an inopportune time.

 

• Or we could have heard Peter say... Ain’t it a disgrace that such a fellow would position himself here at the gate to theTemple... The front door to the church building... Just ignore him... Perhaps he’ll go away...Or die.

 

• Peter could have said... John are we the only ones to help?... Let somebody else do something for a change.

 

• Peter could have said... We’ll bring it up at the next Elder’s meeting.

 

• Or... Like today in Arkansas... Peter could have ask the Sanhedrin to make a law that forbid people for asking for alms on the street corners and at the Temple gate.

 

Try as we may we cannot ignore Matthew 25... We need to hear it every Sunday... As often as you do it unto these... You are doing it unto Me.

 

Surrendering to Jesus... Becoming people God can use... Is our seeing and being sensitive to those in need.

 

God uses those willing to instill hope in others.

Note the end of verse five... This lame begger looked at Peter and John expecting something.

 

Folk...The world is looking at us... In the church... This church... Expecting...

Great...

Good...

Tender..

Loving...

Merciful...

Forgiving ...

Attitudes and behavior.

 

They expect us to have the... heart... The mind... The attitude... The disposition of Jesus.

What will we show them...

What will we give them?...

What Indeed!!

 

We have it all!!... We are the world’s most economically blessed people.

 

spiritually... We have it all...REDEMPTION... FORGIVENESS... RECONCILIATION... THE PROMISE OF HEAVEN... What else do we want??

 

As His children... God wants to share our bounty....

God wants us to be the salt of the earth... The light of the world... Are we willing?

 

Those willing to be empowered and equipped by God.

• Before the Burning Bush... Moses said... I can’t... I don’t have the equipment... God said... What is that in your hand?

 

• The Apostles said... We don’t have enough to feed this crowd... Jesus said... What DO you have?

 

• Peter said... I don’t have what you want... But I have what you need... In the name of Jesus, arise and walk.

 

God wants us to stop making excuses and understand that He is at work in our life.

 

Ephesians 3.21... To him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us... To him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.

 

Hebrews 13.20-21... May the God of peace... That great Shepherd of the sheep... Equip you with everything good for doing his will, and may he work in us what is pleasing to him, through Jesus Christ.

 

Philippians 1.6... Being confident of this, that... He who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Jesus.

 

God empowered Peter to heal this man... He will equip us to do good works He providentially places before us.

 

Do you believe God is working in your life?... He is... He is working to help us become His instrument of righteousness... Those He can use.

 

Well...What are some things He will empower us to do?...

• Perhaps a visit to... the Hospital... Nursing Home... Hospice House...

• Enable us to mention Jesus to the lost...

• Say an encouraging word to those out of duty...

• Give... A smile... A hug... A firm handshake...

• A word of forgiveness...

• Mow a lawn... Bake a cake.

• Teach a class... Serve as an Elder or Deacon...

• Invite someone to our Care Group Meeting.

 

All to Jesus I surrender

Make me Savior... wholly Thine

May Thy Holy Spirit fill me

May I know Thy power divine

 

God uses people of faith.

Look at verse seven and sixteen.

Peter took him by the hand... Helped him up... Peter does for this man ALL he could do.

• Peter can help him to his feet... He can’t make him walk.

• Peter can pull him up... But can’t cause him to leap.

• Peter can support his weight... But can’t empower his to run.

Peter has done all that he and John can do... Now this man’s fate is in the hands of God.

 

Church...

• Have we done all we can in the area of soul winning?... Then trust God for the increase?

• Have we done all we can for our children and loved ones?... Then turn it over to the Lord.

• Have we done all we can in forgiving others?... Then let it be!... Get over it!

• Have we done all we can do for our health problems?... Then trust God.

 

Here is an interesting fact... The dominant characteristic of those people God uses in the Bible... Either individually... Or collectively... Are those men and woman of faith.

 

Listen to me church... When you can’t see God’s hand at work in your life... Trust His love...  Have faith in His promises.

 

I gotta tell you this story... Patsy Wooten was a member of the Johnson congregation. She sent a tract with a Bible lesson... to a student in West Africa. Seven years... Seven years later... A man found that tract blowing on the streets of Ghana... Picked it up... Read it... And was baptized into Christ.

 

Church...Our surrender is understanding that we are to do all we can do and trust God for the rest... Amen?

 

God uses people who are willing to give Him the glory and praise.

Look at verse ten through thirteen... This cripple beggar was... leaping... Jumping... Walking...Doing all those things he had always wanted to do... But was never able.

All the while... Scripture says... He was still holding to Peter’s hand.

 

The people began to surround Peter and John in wonder and amazement.

Peter saw what was happening and said... Wait a moment... Don’t you suppose for a moment that this healing was by our power, our godliness.... The praise goes to the God and His Son Jesus.

 

• David said... God leads us in paths of righteousness for His name sake, for His glory and honor.

 

• Jesus said... Let your light shine so that others can see your good works and glorify your Father.

 

• Revelation 1.6 reads... To Him be the glory and power for ever and ever.

 

I am convinced that greater things are not being accomplished for Jesus today...Because we’re too concerned about the part we play... And the credit we’RE gonna receive.

 

God uses those who are willing to give Him the glory and praise.

 

Well...We gotta quit... But first note that God uses ordinary men... Women... And teens.

 

Look at the last verse of our text... When they saw the courage of Peter and John and realized that they were unschooled...Ordinary men, they were astonished and they took note that these men had been with Jesus.

 

We don’t have to be someone special for God to use us.

All that is required is that...

• We be willing to spend time with Jesus...

• Submit to His will... Obey commands...

• Have His heart... His attitudes... His disposition...

• Conform to His image... Follow His example.

All to jesus I surrender.

 

Well... Do you see The results of our becoming people God can use?

 

Verse four of chapter four... Many who heard the message believed... And the number of men grew to about five thousand.

 

Genuine New Testament evangelism is ours... individually... And corporately as a church... Becoming people God can use brings others to Jesus... Saves souls.

 

Question...What do we need to do this morning... To become a person God will use?...

• Do you need to believe in Jesus?...

• Change your life in genuine repentance?....

• Be born again in New Testament Baptism... Raised to live a new life?

 

Perhaps as a child of God... We need to...

• Change our attitude...

• Surrender all to Jesus...

• Conform more to His IMAGE.

 

However the lesson has spoken to you... Respond... Surrender... As we stand and sing.