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good morning friends how are you doing today I love it happy reformation sunday uh also known as halloween I believe um we had some people dress up in the first service and none of you guys did I am disappointed uh next year put it in your memory banks I’m gonna jump straight into chapter nine and we’ll read the text together we’re in a series on acts for those of you that are visiting uh my name’s alex I’m one of the pastors here that may also be important to know chapter 1 9 1 meanwhile saul was still breathing out murderous threats against the lord’s disciples he went to the high priest and asked him for letters to the synagogues in damascus so that if he found any there who belonged to the way whether men or women he may take them as prisoners to jerusalem as he neared damascus on his journey suddenly a light

from heaven flashed around him he fell to the ground and heard a voice say to him saul why do you persecute me who are you lord saul asked I am Jesus who you are persecuting he replied now get up and go into the city and you will be told what you must do the men traveling with saul stood there speechless they heard the sound but did not see anyone saw got up from the ground but when he opened his eyes he could see nothing so they led him by the hand into damascus for three days he was blind and he did not eat or drink anything in damascus there was a disciple named ananias the lord called to him in a vision ananias yes lord he replied the lord told him go to the house of judas on straight street and ask for a man from tarsus named saul for he’s praying in a vision he has seen a man named ananias come and place his hands on him to restore his sight lord answered ananias I have heard many reports about this man and all

the harmony has done to your holy people in jerusalem and he has come here with authority from the chief priests to arrest all who call upon your name but the lord said to ananias go this man is my chosen instrument to proclaim my name to the gentiles and their kings and to the people of israel I will show him how much he must suffer for my name then ananias went to the house and entered it placing his hands on saul he said brother saw the lord Jesus who appeared to you on the road as you were coming here he sent me so that you may be see that you may see again and be filled with the holy spirit immediately something like scales fell from saul’s eyes and he could see again he got up and was baptized and after taking some food he regained his strength let’s pray together God as we look at this text this text is a moment where a man becomes alive in a different way would you speak to us as a community of people here we are

on all sorts of places on a journey some with very real questions some who feel like we’ve been doing this thing for a while but maybe still have some very real questions would you take this text that you breathed would you breathe into us and would we become alive please in new and different ways amen okay so book of acts this book that largely you might say is about transformation this is a book where people’s lives are changed in dramatic and spectacular ways those people then go on to partner with God in the world around them and see other people’s lives transformed in dramatic and spectacular ways this is a book of transformation and we’re going to jump into this first piece of the text we’re going to take these first couple of verses in chapter 9 verse 4. I’m going to make you work today if you have a text in front of you because we can’t do all of acts verse by verse we will jump around just a little bit if you feel a

little bit lost in that respect you’ll be okay you’ll find us again eventually as he saw near damascus on his journey suddenly a light from heaven flashed around him we are in the realms of road to damascus experiences this language is now common enough in our everyday society that you’ve probably heard it before even if it hasn’t been in this context it’s language we use when we have an experience that is transformative in some particular way now now those things can be normal things every day things if you are here and you got married that was probably a road to damascus experience there’s the moment where you were boyfriend and girlfriend and you got married and you’re like wow now they’re here all the time now we have to share a space now we have to have like common like sinks and stuff like that we have to share the same faucet all those different things all those different sort of learning experiences

about being married if you have children you have an experience where you realize just how much they are going to change your life and you’re going to have to need to be someone different to deal with it I remember the first time I took elena out of a car in a car seat I just placed the seat behind me and the car next to us started to reverse and she was at this point a day old and I I have this moment where I’m like I am ill equipped to be a good father I am gonna have to learn some stuff really quickly road to damascus awakening experience sometimes it’s about people’s character we learn something about someone and it changes our relationship with them the other day I was invited to a card game and now if that’s a problem for you then this is a confession um and you can grant me your forgiveness but in the course of this card game the guy I was playing with he he said you know what I’m not looking at my cards I’m just

going to play as though I haven’t seen them and I said okay that’s a really silly decision like if you want to do that that’s fine and and so we went on with the game and and then finally he flipped over his two cards that gave him an unbeatable hand and he looked at me with a smirk and he said oh I had seen them I was just lying to you and I was I felt betrayed to the depths of my soul I was so angry and I just you know I was like what do I do with this guy and he he then looked at me and he said I can’t believe it I lied to a pastor and I said yes you did and that has very serious consequences my friend the reason it’s different to lying to almost any other human being is because at some point now you will be in a sermon story as an illustration and this was like two days ago this happened so you can see I I didn’t wait I didn’t hold off very long but but I looked at this man and I was like I will never believe you again it doesn’t matter what

you tell me you have changed something about the nature of our relationship and yeah just you can tell how deeply it wrangles there are these experiences we have in life that transform something about the way that we do life whether it’s the way we behave whether it’s a relationship and yet in its original context this road to damascus experience is a spiritual revelation as he saw near damascus on his journey suddenly a light from heaven flashed around him and he fell to the ground and heard a voice say to him saw saul why do you persecute me the character that we’re gonna deal with today is called saw in other parts of acts he’s called paul when he writes letters in the new testament he’s called paul the truth is just to set you up for my own failure I will probably interchange saul and paul multiple times through this sermon and there’s nothing I can do about it I apologize in advance I’ll try and use saul because that’s

how he’s referenced but I just know him as paul so it just is hard to change saul has this experience and maybe the tension point that we would name to start with is maybe we read this and say I want that why don’t I get that certainty what is it to see a blinding light to fall to the ground and then to be blind and then be healed of blindness for those of us that wrestle with doubt that struggle with is this thing real I want that why don’t I get that we’ll leave that tension there for a while and we’ll come back to it because I think it’s a very real question as we wrestle with this text as he saw near damascus on his journey suddenly a light from heaven flashed around him wears my light who are you lord saul asked I am Jesus who you are persecuting he replied now get up and go into the city and you will be told what you must do so a little bit of backstory it’s important to know a little bit about who saul is it definitely gives us

some insights into what’s happening here who is this man so we’ve now for those of you following week by week we’ve jumped forward we looked at acts chapter six last week we looked at a little bit of chapter eight one particular story we’re now in chapter nine for those of you that can count you realize that we’ve missed chapter seven so just for a second we’re going to go back and look at something that happens in chapter seven at one point we read in the story I think last week we looked at how the church realized it had an administration problem my road to damascus experience personally was realizing administration was important and you actually needed people who could organize things it seems like the early church had the same revelation they picked seven men who could help with those detailed kinds of things that would who could come along the earliest followers of Jesus and give structure to stuff last week

we looked at how philip one of those seven had gone on to do this remarkable thing he’d led an ethiopian unit to into a relationship with Jesus another character called stephen we’ll look at for just a brief second stephen has this experience where he gives a dramatic address he stands up in front of the religious leaders of the day and he simply calls them out he gives this incredibly stirring sort of review of everything that’s happened in jewish life and then finally says we were waiting for this messiah figure we were waiting for this character and when he got here just like you did with the other prophets you killed him obviously as you would expect this doesn’t go down particularly well and there’s the moment where the core the legal court of the day the sanhedrin will grab stephen and this is this moment where we get our first introduction to who saul is and our first insight into his character when the members of the

sanhedrin heard this they were furious and gnashed their teeth at him this is acts chapter 7 verse 54. but stephen full of the holy spirit looked up to heaven and saw the glory of God and Jesus standing at the right hand of God look he said I see heaven open and the son of man standing at the right hand of God at this they covered their ears and yelling at the tops of their voices they all rushed at him dragged him out of the city and began to stone him meanwhile the witnesses laid their coats at the feet of a young man named saul saul is involved in the murder in the death of this young man who was coming to the church and brought organization to it part of this seven group of leaders that have been appointed by the church in today’s legal system he may not be charged with first degree murder but he’s definitely involved in some way this is our first introduction to who paul is alongside those religious leaders who have said

we’re going to oppose this new thing this new movement of faith this recognition that Jesus is the messiah we’re going to do everything we can to stop it happening and the end of stephen’s story is just so compelling we have to read it while they were stoning him stephen prayed lord Jesus received my spirit and that he fell to his knees and cried out lord do not hold this sin against them and when he had said this he fell asleep there’s such a beautiful symmetry in steven’s story with Jesus story the same way that Jesus can in his moment of death say lord forgive them stephen will do the same thing this is the type of people that this new movement this christian faith is producing saul is against it along with the religious leaders and so when we start not chapter nine verse one and three this is the person that we’re talking about this person who has decided I’m against what is happening here meanwhile saul was still breathing

out murderous threats against the lord’s disciples he went to the high priest and asked him for letters to the synagogues in damascus so that if he found any there who belonged to the way the way was the name that christianity was known as at this point whether men or women he might take them as prisoners to jerusalem think about this for a second is he at this point got the same mentality as the religious leaders that we’ve encountered in this series so far if you’ve got so far if you’ve got a long memory think back to when we had this incredible healing story a man who was born lame is healed and there’s an incredible crowd that gathers thousands join the church is paul similar to those religious leaders I don’t know if he is really at his heart similar them to them at all think about what saul is about to do he’s about to go from jerusalem to damascus this is a journey that would just take four or five days at least an arduous journey

paul is so committed to what he’s doing that he’s gonna make this journey of four or five hours comparing for a second to those religious leaders that we looked at in chapter 3 and chapter 4. this is their response to this incredible miracle what are we going to do with these men they asked everyone living in jerusalem knows they have performed a notable sign and we cannot deny it but to stop this thing from spreading any further among the people we must warn them to speak no longer to anyone in this name this group of religious leaders they’re opposing christianity but they’re opposing it believing that miraculous things have happened they know that they’re opposing the work of God they have become so consumed by power so consumed myself they are no longer interested in knowing the truth they are simply concerned with what benefits them the most is that who paul is is that who saul is I don’t think that is who he is at all

I would suggest this is the difference between the two of them I think they the religious leaders are working primarily for themselves their own personal interests are different points they’ll say things like man if if we let this thing grow the romans are going to come and they’re going to take over like all the temple and everything we’re going to lose our position this is going to be bad for us financially it’s going to be bad for us in terms of our positions of power I don’t think that’s who saul is I think saul genuinely believes he is working for God I believe he’s a true believer he is what the old testament would have caught a zealot or someone living out of zeal there were plenty of stories in the jewish bible in the old testament where people gave prophetic addresses that they were called false prophets or something like that and they were killed and people celebrated the action there were plenty of moments in the history of judaism

where people rose up claiming to be the messiah and they were stoned to death and people celebrated the action this society is in so many ways very different from at society I believe paul believes he is absolutely in line with what God wants he believes that Jesus was a liar he believes that the people that were following him are liars and he believes it’s his duty to stop this thing as quickly as possible while those religious leaders are centered around this question what can I do for me what benefits me that isn’t saul’s question at all saul is completely devoted for what can I do for God he is a zealot he is a true believer he is going to chase this thing down and so committed is he that he’ll go from jerusalem to damascus he’ll make a four or five day journey just to make sure if there’s any of these followers anywhere we’re going to shut this thing down we’re going to bring an end to it and that interestingly makes him more

dangerous than the other guys that makes it more dangerous to the church than the other guys c.s lewis has this wonderful quote about tyranny what he says is this of all tyrannys a tyranny sincerely exercise for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive it would be better to live under rubber barons and than under omnipotent moral busybodies the robber baron’s cruelty may sometimes sleep his cupidity may at some point be satiated but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end for they do so with the approval of their own conscience those religious leaders from chapter three chapter four at some point they may say something like wow we really need to get on board with what God is doing genuine miracles are happening life change is happening here we need to get involved we’ve been going about this the wrong way they may admit to the fact that their financial interests are driving them

they may admit to the fact that power is driving them they may change their minds they may have mercy but paul will show no mercy because paul believes he is on the side of God in this matter and it is going to take something spectacular to stop him one of the sad parts of the history of the church has been our involvement in things that that really we thought were the will of God and it would seem historically we were massively wronger there was one point where the crusades were celebrated widely in the church and talked about as a good and healthy thing regularly the armies of jerusalem when they went out to war would yell God wills it we are on the side of God as they went out to slaughter innocent women and children the church has a history just like paul of getting things wrong getting things mixed up and believing deeply we are we are on the side of God we are doing his will and that’s who paul is this is a

moment where the villain of the story will become a hero in the story this is a moment where a villain in the story will become a hero in the story for those of you that love movies you know occasionally you come across those characters where you’re kind of watching the movie and you’re like this this is a bad guy but I kind of like him I kind of feel like I I’m on his side and I want him to be on my side and then there’s the wonderful moment where he finally makes the switch from the dark side to the light side saul is basically a biblical darth vader he is this guy making that big switch and if that spoiled the end of star wars for you I have no apologies because it came out 40 years ago so if you haven’t seen it at this point I don’t want to tell you this is paul’s great switch moment the ultimate villain in the story is going to switch and become part of the hero narrative the guy who’s on the side of dark will switch to the side of
light so let’s go back and look at those first verses we looked at as he saw near damascus on his journey suddenly a light from heaven flashed around and he fell to the ground and heard a voice say saul saw why do you persecute me who are you lord saul asked I am Jesus who you are persecuting he replied now get up and go into the city and you will be told what you must do the men traveling the saul stood there speechless they heard the sound but did not see anyone saul got up from the ground but when he opened his eyes he could see nothing so they led him by the hand into damascus and for three days he was blind and did not eat or drink anything the question I have for us is this why does saul get this special treatment as I touched on earlier attention point is I want that certainty and I know lots of other people that do too maybe you are one of those people maybe you have friends family members that are like I

could jump in on this Jesus thing if I could know for certain but they can’t and yet paul seems to get that why does paul get that one of the first jobs I ever worked I worked with a guy called danny who became a good friend and because I had a car and he didn’t I would regularly drop him home after work and we would sit sometimes for an hour two hours talking about faith and occasionally I would ask him and push him and just say what is it that stops you exploring faith is it simply that you know you don’t want to give up some of the things that you feel like you might have to give up if you jump into this Jesus journey or what’s the thing that holds you up and he looked at me and he said it’s just that I can’t believe I just can’t get there and he said if God is there I would love him love him to step in and just show me if he could show me I’d be fine why does paul get this kind of special treatment why does paul get certainty the simple

answer that the text will give us is this God needs him for a special task and the bible is okay in acknowledging that God needs him for a special task God is going to use this character to do something very specific and that’s a weird shift for this book acts that has emphasized the community is more important than the individual in this case when we read it on first reading there’s a bit of a switch it’s like no this guy is so essential I’m gonna I’m gonna break the normal patterns because this story is unusual even for acts there are not many stories in which someone has this kind of individual supernatural encounter that pulls them into the story in a particular way there’s these fun stories been going on all around the world I don’t know if you’ve missed these or caught hold of some of them but not long ago a guy was swimming off the coast of israel and he pulled this out of the ocean it’s a crusader sword from about a

thousand years ago and in itself this was just a fun little anecdote a guy found an old sword but almost at exactly the same time just a few weeks apart another guy was swimming off the coast of norway and pulled out a viking sword from the ocean and then at a similar time a young girl was swimming in a lake in cornwall in england the lake that apparently king arthur threw the legendary excalibur and she pulled a sword out of this deep lake and you get this feeling that some force in the universe is building some kind of team to accomplish some target or something like that that’s almost like a an avengers type feel to what are these people going to do with a newfound power and newfound swords the swords may not be much use now they look a little rusty but there is this like this field what’s going on here now of course there is no sort of power pulling people together with old swords to do anything in particular that I’m

aware of I could be wrong but in this case that’s exactly what is happening God is pulling someone into his story for a specific purpose in damascus there was a disciple named ananias the lord called to him in a vision ananias yes lord he answered I love just how normal this is to ananias I think I would be freaking out at this point the lord told him go to the house of judas on straight street and ask for a man named from tarsus named saul for he is praying in a vision he has seen a man named ananias come and place his hands on him to restore his sight lord ananias answered I have heard many reports about this man and all the harm he has done to your holy people in jerusalem I love the dialogue there’s this moment where ananias is like yeah this isn’t the guy you won I I’ve heard about this guy are you aware Jesus that there’s some issues with him I think you should reconsider but the lord said to ananias go this man is

my chosen instrument to proclaim my name to the gentiles and their kings and to the people of israel I will show him how much he must suffer for my name and I also love the fact that that’s the moment ananias is in on this plan it’s like oh yeah you’re gonna make this jerk suffer I can get on board let’s pull him into the story you do whatever you want the whole narrative here with saul is based around God has chosen him for a specific task and remember back to when we started with acts one of the things I said to you guys is this there is this surprise in acts this constant surprise for the early church will be this gentiles non-jewish people are included in this story they’re going to get pulled in and nobody expected that maybe they should have if they’ve read some of the texts in the old testament but nobody expected that and paul it seems will be hugely important in making that happen what we’ll see as acts unfolds is we’ll see that

the original 11 followers of Jesus will begin to go to the jewish people primarily and and paul and some of his followers will begin to go to the gentile communities it seems the wrong way around on the surface because paul is very very jewish he’s studied under famous jewish leaders it seems he would go to the jewish people and peter and some of those disciples very rough and ready on the fringes of judaism you think they would go to the gentiles and yet maybe God and his plan says you’re going to need to rely on me for this guys for whatever reason he has this distinct plan for paul and that is as much reason as we’re given for his special treatment as it were for his road to damascus appearance he gets this moment because God is going to have a plan for him but it doesn’t deal with the question why can’t we all have that why can’t we all have that kind of experience why can’t my friend danny have that certainty

that he says will lead him into faith why can’t you in your lowest moments have the certainty that there is a God present in the universe why can’t your friends your family members that ask you those questions why don’t we get certainty a few years ago I happen to see a cloud formation I don’t know if it translates to this big screen but I had this cloud formation outside my window and I took a picture because it kind of looked like a huge torso and head of a man standing there in the clouds and it sent me down this trail of imagining what would we do if God did appear in this spectacular way would it change everything for us the writer frederick beekner sketches out in his sort of imagination this idea of what it would look like for God to write I exist God in the sky or I am really here what would happen what would be the outworking and he said in the moment no doubt it would be spectacular people would fall to

their knees churches would become stadiums full of people and pastors would have the unusual experience of actually having people believe them when they talk of actually having people take them seriously outside of you know the small group of people sitting here of course that he imagines this transformation being spectacular lives might change completely people might live in different ways there would be cries of repentance of change but then he says what would happen after a month or two months or a year what would happen then he said someone probably a child would ask the very perceptive question so what what does that mean why does it matter I would suggest that the question you and I ask in those moments the question that my friend danny was asking the question that people we know are asking isn’t really is the regard somewhere in the universe that piece of information is not particularly

unique or original doesn’t really matter all that much the question we would want an answer to is does that God in the universe care about me is he involved and present with me does he have any interest in me as an individual person that at its core is more of the question and no road to damascus experience can give you that knowledge I would suggest christianity is not a belief that God exists it is the belief that God has acted in the world through Jesus and that that action was done for us and it transforms us think about this experience paul has for a second does this experience convince him God exists no he was already a hundred percent God convinced that God existed that was a certainty for someone like paul he had believed this all of his life he had been ingrained to believe that the God of israel was the God of the universe as well he has no particular doubts about just the existence of God what this transformation

experience does is it pulls paul into a story that assures him he is loved and he can be a different person that’s what happens to him soul is transformed by knowledge that he is loved by God think about how he’ll unpack his own stories in letters that he’ll write to churches this is a letter to a church in a place called galatia I have been crucified with christ and I no longer live but christ lives in me the love life I live in the body I live by faith in the son of God who loved me and gave himself for me who loved me and gave himself for me I do not set aside the grace of God for if righteousness could be gained through the law christ died for nothing the life I live in the body I live by faith in the son of God who loved me and gave himself for me paul is transformed when he understands that life with God is a relationship not just a piece of information he’s transformed by knowledge that he is loved by God and by a continuing

partnership with him as he unpacks what life has looked like for him since this moment later in his life he says not that I have already obtained all this or have already arrived at my goal but I press on to take hold of that for which christ Jesus took hold of me to take hold of that for which christ Jesus took hold of me brothers and sisters I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it but one thing I do forgetting what is behind and straining towards what is ahead I press on towards the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in christ Jesus I press on to take hold of that for which christ Jesus took hold of me as we read his road to damascus experience we are seeing this moment where he believes God took hold of him and now in return he spends the rest of his life trying to take hold of everything for which God took hold of him we are seeing paul transformed not by this new knowledge that God

exists by this awakening to God’s presence in the world the idea that God is present with him loves him particularly owns him and that he has acted in the world and that changes everything so here’s the good news you may not have had a road to damascus experience and you may never have one you may never have that bright shining light that tells you God exists but if you have walked into relationship with Jesus if you are becoming aware of the fact that he loves you if you are seeing what it is to be transformed by him the details are different but your transformation story is the same the details are different but your transformation story is the same over the course of his life paul never once celebrates the fact that God appeared to him in this supernatural way never once celebrates the moment of a flash of light never celebrates the fact that he was blind for a while and then begins to be able to see again what he does

celebrate is this he celebrates the fact that the God of the universe loves him knows him and owns him and that the God of the universe will partner with him you won’t experience the road to damascus lights but you can experience the transformation that follows and that that is what the new testament celebrates let’s continue acts chapter 9 verse 19 saul spent several days with the disciples in damascus at once he began to preach in the synagogues that Jesus is the son of God all those who were who heard him were astonished and asked isn’t he the man who raised havoc in jerusalem amongst those who call on this name and hasn’t he come here to take them as prisoners to the chief priests yet saul grew more and more powerful and baffled the jews living in damascus by proving that Jesus is the messiah there is this moment where paul who has this earthly mission that he feels is so important to stop what he sees happening

that moment there is this moment in which a heavenly calling triumphs over early mission paul is called and commissioned to do something that is what this story is about it’s about a man who believes fundamentally he is doing stuff for God and there is this moment where he is now invited to do things with God and so what do we learn from that I don’t know which person or people in the story you identify with or at which point of their journey maybe you identify with the jewish leaders from chapter three chapter four maybe you you would say this fundamentally describes my life it is centered around what I can do for me and maybe you’ve made a journey from that maybe you would say that your life is centered around what I can do for God and yet both of them miss this move that paul makes paul is centered around doing things for God and yet he’s invited to do things with God paul lives his life doing things for God

and yet he’s wildly unso wildly incorrect about what God is actually calling him to do his moment of transformation is the moment where he realized he’s missed this new story his moment of transformation happens when he jumps in on this new story and says I’m going to live into that story to follow Jesus is to be able to pray a prayer that looks like this our father in heaven hallowed be your name your kingdom come and your will be done on earth as it is in heaven that moment of praying into your kingdom come is as we’ve talked about this moment of surrendering our own kingdoms and making decisions that live in the consequences of that how can I help you understand this just a little bit I sometimes think our mentality is a little bit like the state of texas so if you don’t know flags this is fun with flags with alex or something like that this is the flag of texas and there’s this rumor about this particular flag because if you know

people from texas I’m sure we’ve got some here they’re very passionate about being from texas it’s very important to them and the rumor behind this flag is this this is the only flag of the 50 state flags that can fly at the same level as the flag of the united states because texas was a nation before it joined the union so it has that privilege you can fly it higher than you can fly other state flags at least that’s the belief but in actual fact it’s a completely it’s a rumor it’s it’s completely untrue in actual fact any flag of any state can fly at the same height as the flag of the united states but the flag of the united states always has to take precedence whether it’s texas or another state when you look at flags in this country at least when you look at which flag is highest and to the left it will always be the u.s flag because it is the flag of preeminence and no other flag can sit at the same level as it I think one of our great struggles in following

Jesus is we have other flags that we long to fly in place of that flag we long to put other flags in precedence over that it could be our politics it could be our sexuality it could be our ethnic background it could be a national heritage it could be any of those things and yet we find ways for those flags to find precedence in our life and yet the prayer that Jesus followers were taught to pray your kingdom come your will be done is to surrender those flags to the one flag that takes precedence that flag of following Jesus that’s the only flag that can sit in that place for a true follower of Jesus I would suggest that this prayer that we are taught to pray that paul will soon learn as a new follower of Jesus is this prayer to say God how can I participate in your kingdom not for your kingdom but with you in your kingdom that’s the move that paul can make and the invitation that we see here is this invitation to say not what can I do for God but

what can I do with God a question for you and for I think this week is how is God calling you or inviting you to partner with him we see with paul what happens to a man who is so convinced he’s doing things for God and yet he’s wildly wrong in terms of what God is doing in the world I wonder whether you and I fall into the same trap at different points what is it that is happening in your life that God is inviting you to partner with is it something a decision that you’re making around a company or a business is it a job decision that you’re about to make are you asking are you praying about a family issue is it a friendship relational issue it could be anywhere on that spectrum and yet when we get into the mindset of I’m going to do things for God I’m just going to act I think we end up in the wrong direction more often than not I sit here regularly when you guys aren’t here because I get to sit and not talk for a while and I’ll sit in this space

and I just spend some time just asking Jesus questions and just trying to give him space to talk to me and one time as I sat here one of the questions or one of the things that I heard was this are you doing this or are we doing this are you doing this or are we doing this there is one it’s one thing to say I’m gonna actively try and do something good for God and for his kingdom it seems it’s a completely different thing to say God how might I do something with you this week this month this year as you guys live your lives this week as I live my life this week the challenge is to say God how are you calling me to partner with you now what can I do for you but how might your kingdom come if we partner together paul is a man who all his life has done things for God his big transformation his big shift is to move into relationship with God and to live life with him in partnership transformation happens when we become aware of God’s distinct love

for us and his desire to partner with us I’m going to invite the worship team up on stage let’s pray