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Acts #12 The People God Uses

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Acts Series #12

Back to the Beginning:

When Church was Church

The People God Uses

Acts 6:8

Well it's been a rough week for me physically.  If I wasn't scheduled to be out of town next week I probably wouldn't even be here today.

Most Sunday's I come before you, swinging for the fence, trying to hit a home run.  Well Today, I'm just trying to get a ball in play.  Matter of Fact I don't even mind hitting a sacrifice fly.  That is getting one in play that may get me out but will help move you along to the next base or better yet help you score.

We are reading from Acts and I want you to go back with me to Chapter 6 and read verse 8 again

I want to talk today with you about the People God Uses



1. Empty - v8

pleres (play-race)

1. full i.e. filled up 1a of hollow vessels 1b of a surface, covered in every part 1c of the soul, thoroughly permeated with

2. full, i.e. complete 2a lacking nothing, perfect

  A. What are we FULL of

    1. pride

Pr 21:4  haughty eyes and a proud heart, the lamp of the wicked, are sin!

The one who is full of pride, lights his own way … but it's like lighting your path with a flashlight with no batteries

You can carry it around and point it in the right direction but it blinds you and doesn't give you the light you need to see

Contrast that with what David said in Psalm 119:105  Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light for my path

Daniel 5:20 tells us that pride hardens our heart

Ps 10:4 in his pride the wicked does not seek him; in all his thoughts there is no room for God

    2. sin

we are born with our cup full of sin

ps 51:5 surely I was sinful at birth, sinful from the time my mother conceived me

    3. preconceived ideas

We think we can make it better on our own

Jer 2:13 my people have committed two sins: they have forsaken me, the spring of living water, and have dug their own cisterns, broken cisterns that a cannot hold water

We fill ourselves up with our own ideas, our own perceptions

    4. personal plans -

we don't have room for God because we think we know how things should go - that is spiritually childish

1 Cor 13:11 when I was a child I talked like a child; I thought like a child; I reasoned like a child.  When I became a man, I put childish ways behind me

we can't be full of God when we are full of pride, sin, preconceived ideas, and personal plans

  B. How do we Empty ourselves?

    1. Humility

Micah 6:8 he has showed you, o man, what is good.  And what does the Lord require of you?  To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God

the first step toward being used by God

Pr 18:12 before his downfall a man's heart is proud but humility comes before honor

    2. Brokenness

we cannot empty ourselves of sin, we must come to God through Christ Jesus

Jer 2:22 although you wash yourself with soda and use an abundance of soap, the stain of your guilt is still before me

Ps 51:17 the sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart, O God, you will not despise

Mark 14:3; John 12:3 tell the story of Mary the sister of Lazarus and Martha, she came to Jesus and broke her most precious possession, a bottle of Perfume and poured it over his head and feet anointing him and washing his feet.  Luke tells us she was a sinful woman, but we also know that she was Lazarus' sister and that he had already been raised from the dead

She was broken because she knew her sinfulness and unworthiness and yet Jesus had forgiven her and Jesus had given her brother back from the grave

To be broken we must know who we are and what Jesus has done and can do for us

    3. Like Jesus - Emptied himself -

Phil 2:5-7 your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus: who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped but made himself nothing (emptied himself) taking the nature of a servant …

The People God uses are people who have emptied themselves of sin, pride, preconceived ides, personal plans and submitted themselves to God.  So once we are empty … we are ready to be …

2 tim 2:20-21 in a large house there are articles not only of gold and silver, but also of wood and clay; some are for noble purposes and some for ignoble .  If a man cleanses himself from the latter, he will be an instrument for noble purposes, made holy, useful to the Master and prepared to do any good work.

Soccer Story


2. Full vv3,5,8

pleres (play-race)

1. full i.e. filled up 1a of hollow vessels 1b of a surface, covered in every part 1c of the soul, thoroughly permeated with

2. full, i.e. complete 2a lacking nothing, perfect

Stephen was FULL of 5 things

  A. Wisdom

Pr 20 - READ 1-11

    1. accept God's Word (believe it is true and worthwhile)

    2. turn your ear - listen really listen

    3. applying your heart - do what wisdom says

    4. call out for insight - ask for wisdom - Soloman ; James ASK for wisdom

    5. look for … search for … like hidden treasure - we often don't have wisdom because we aren't willing to put in the time to get wisdom - we give the word a quick glance but don't put in the time and effort to find what we need

    6. God gives wisdom, holds victory, is a shield

    7. then you will understand … every good path

    8. wisdom will enter your heart … knowledge your soul

  B. Faith

Heb 11:1 faith is being sure (the substance) of what we hope for and certain (evidence) of what we do not see

    1. Faith is something to hold on to, when you don't have something to put your hands on physically -

    2. to be the people that God uses we must have faith, in order to whole on to the call of God

John 6:29 Faith IS the Work of God - the work of God is this: to believe in the one he has sent

    3. Comes from hearing the Word of God

Rom 10:17 faith comes from hearing the message, and the message is heard through the word of Christ


Heb 11:6without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him

  C. Grace

    1. given for salvation Acts 15:11 we believe it is through the grace of our Lord Jesus that we are saved …

    2. given as spiritual gifts to those who are in Christ

1 Peter 4:10 Each one should use whatever gift he has received to serve others faithfully administering God's grace in its various forms

    3. favor with God in our daily lives - Heb 4:16 let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need

2 Cor 9:8 God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work

  D. Power

Phil 4:13 I can do everything through him who gives me strength

2 Co 12:9 but he said to me "my grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness."  Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ's power may rest on me

2 Tim 1:7 God did not give us a spirit of timidity, but a spirit of power, of love and of self-discipline

  E. The Holy Spirit

1 Thes 1:5 because our gospel came to you not simply with words, but also with power, with the Holy Spirit and with deep conviction.  You know how we lived among you for your sake

Romans 8:26 The Spirit helps us in our weakness

Rom 15:13  may the God of hope full you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit

Luke 4:14 Jesus returned to Galilee in the power of the Spirit, and news about him spread though the whole countryside

When we walk in the Power of the Spirit, word gets OUT!

3. Living Like It

Stephen "did" "performed"

The word to make, to act, to create, to execute

The people God uses are people who actually live out what they say they believe

The people God uses have found that the Christian life is NOT just a theory or a group of ideas, but it is something that can be real in the everyday life

  A. Wonders

Def - a cause of astonishment or admiration

A Life indwelt by God and changed is a Wonder -

  B. Miraculous - Marvel

Def - something that causes wonder or astonishment; intense surprise

A Marriage saved and restored is Miraculous

Physical healing is Miraculous

Salvation is Miraculous

  C. Signs

Def- a sign, mark, token, that by which a person is distinguished from others; an unusual occurrence; authenticates that God has sent the man

Signs may be supernatural like a healing,

It may be Natural like a rainbow

But YOU can be a sign, a mark, a token of God's Hand

    1. visible manifestations of God's Hand

is God's hand evident in your life?

    2. Observable difference

    3. points to Christ

1 Peter 2:12 Live such good lives among the pagans that, though they accuse you of doing wrong, they may see your good deeds and glorify God on the day he visits us

That's the People God uses

Empty Vessels

Filled with God's Spirit, Faith Wisdom, Grace, Power

Living the Christian life in the everyday world

Anyone here want to be used by God?

Do you need to be Emptied?

Are you Empty but need to be Filled?

Are you Empty and Filled but now need to take it to the Real World?

I want New Life to be place filled with people that God uses

Will You Join me in being the kind of vessels God uses?

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