Posted by Derrick Dillion on Dec 26, 2020

The Grinch – It’s not Me, it’s You #5

 Welcome back to TWBC and our interactive family series, The Grinch. The hidden gem in this story is Cindy Lou Who.  The little girl with a big heart to have an heart for the One that they all wanted to forget and maybe don’t deserve what they made Christmas about.

 Acts 9:1–19 (ESV)

But Saul, still breathing threats and murder against the disciples of the Lord, went to the high priest and asked him for letters to the synagogues at Damascus, so that if he found any belonging to the Way, men or women, he might bring them bound to Jerusalem. Now as he went on his way, he approached Damascus, and suddenly a light from heaven shone around him. And falling to the ground, he heard a voice saying to him, “Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting me?” And he said, “Who are you, Lord?” And he said, “I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting. But rise and enter the city, and you will be told what you are to do.” The men who were traveling with him stood speechless, hearing the voice but seeing no one. Saul rose from the ground, and although his eyes were opened, he saw nothing. So they led him by the hand and brought him into Damascus. And for three days he was without sight, and neither ate nor drank.

10 Now there was a disciple at Damascus named Ananias. The Lord said to him in a vision, “Ananias.” And he said, “Here I am, Lord.” 11 And the Lord said to him, “Rise and go to the street called Straight, and at the house of Judas look for a man of Tarsus named Saul, for behold, he is praying, 12 and he has seen in a vision a man named Ananias come in and lay his hands on him so that he might regain his sight.” 13 But Ananias answered, “Lord, I have heard from many about this man, how much evil he has done to your saints at Jerusalem. 14 And here he has authority from the chief priests to bind all who call on your name.” 15 But the Lord said to him, “Go, for he is a chosen instrument of mine to carry my name before the Gentiles and kings and the children of Israel. 16 For I will show him how much he must suffer for the sake of my name.” 17 So Ananias departed and entered the house. And laying his hands on him he said, “Brother Saul, the Lord Jesus who appeared to you on the road by which you came has sent me so that you may regain your sight and be filled with the Holy Spirit.” 18 And immediately something like scales fell from his eyes, and he regained his sight. Then he rose and was baptized; 19 and taking food, he was strengthened.

 The Grinch “I just noticed you were improperly packaged.”

 Going Un-Recognized:

“Saul, Saul, why do you persecute me.” In the statement, Jesus was asking Saul, WHY?  Was Saul persecuting Jesus? Saul didn’t believe that Jesus was the risen savior and the acts that he was doing was persecuting the CHURCH, The Body Of Christ! 

 1 Corinthians 12:12-14

12 For as the body is one, and hath many members, and all the members of that one body, being many, are one body: so also is Christ.

13 For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free; and have been all made to drink into one Spirit.

14 For the body is not one member, but many.

 Saul at that moment released that Jesus is real, he is the savior of the world and he was there with Him. Saul didn’t recognize the body was made of many members.  Un-Recognize is to not identify from previous encounters or knowledge. “Its not me, its you” Just like Saul was realizing at that moment with his encounter with Jesus, Cindy Lou Who”s very first encounter with the Grinch was in the mail room.  Her encounter made her wonder just a bit that all the Whos may have gotten it all wrong.

 Open Eyes:

We look for every available means, at every available time, to reach every available person through service and giving.

 After Saul’s encounter with Jesus, the Lord appeared to Ananias to tell him to go to Saul.

 Acts 9:10-17

10 Now there was a disciple at Damascus named Ananias. The Lord said to him in a vision, “Ananias.” And he said, “Here I am, Lord.” 11 And the Lord said to him, “Rise and go to the street called Straight, and at the house of Judas look for a man of Tarsus named Saul, for behold, he is praying, 12 and he has seen in a vision a man named Ananias come in and lay his hands on him so that he might regain his sight.” 13 But Ananias answered, “Lord, I have heard from many about this man, how much evil he has done to your saints at Jerusalem. 14 And here he has authority from the chief priests to bind all who call on your name.” 15 But the Lord said to him, “Go, for he is a chosen instrument of mine to carry my name before the Gentiles and kings and the children of Israel. 16 For I will show him how much he must suffer for the sake of my name.” 17 So Ananias departed and entered the house. And laying his hands on him he said, “Brother Saul, the Lord Jesus who appeared to you on the road by which you came has sent me so that you may regain your sight and be filled with the Holy Spirit.”

 A few weeks ago, I had an encounter with a couple here one Sunday morning. Before every service, I usually try to walk the aisle here before service shaking as many hands as I can and being friendly. With this couple I stopped to greet them as we talked, I realized that I was been friendly but not personal. I couldn’t call them brother or sister if I didn’t stop for them.

 We talk a lot about this passage of the scales falling off of Sauls eyes, what about Ananias obedience? If he didn’t go as the Lord instructed, there wouldn’t be a Paul. What Pauls have we overlooked, “Its not me. Its you”.

 Many of us even look at the thief of the cross with Jesus as someone like a Saul who lived a horrible life that they don’t deserve the life that Jesus offers.  The thief recognized who Jesus is and ask just to be remembered but Jesus gave him GRACE. No one in this room that call on the name of the Lord will get what we deserve.                                          

Did Christmas Change or Just Me:

The gift of Christmas is about Jesus making it all about you and me and not himself.

We were saved by grace.  Grace, getting what we don’t deserve. It’s not you, it’s me.

Isaiah 30:15

“This is what the Sovereign LORD, the Holy One of Israel, says: “In repentance and rest is your salvation, in quietness and trust is your strength, but you would have none of it.”

 Many Christians treat sin like carrying the stench from a trash bag that leaked on you while taking it to the dumpster; it just cannot get off of you until you wash yourself off. People live in bondage every day thinking that because of what they did three days ago, or sometimes three hours or minutes ago, they are still reeking of their sinful nature. Yet, if they will just “repent by confessing all their sins” then God will justify them and make them clean and righteous once again. Friend, that is incorrect. This is not repentance. In the New Testament, the Greek meaning for repentance means for one to “change their mind” and fix their eyes back on Jesus. Look at what the Old Testiment says about repentence.

 Teshuvah is the Hebrew word for repentance. It is made up of five Hebrew letters – tav, shin, vav, bet, and hei. In case you’re unaware, each Hebrew letter creates a picture, numerical value, and meaning and reads from right to left unlike the English language. The first letter, tav, is a picture of a cross. Hei is the fifth letter of the alphabet and has the meaning of grace. The three letters in the middle form the word shuv, which means “to return.”  

 When you put this entire meaning together, it is literally saying “Because of the cross, return to grace.” Beloved, this is the cross of Jesus! Even in the Old Testament, our Lord Jesus is highlighted! Repentance comes when we reflect on the goodness of God in our lives. True repentance is birthed and sustainable when we preach, learn, and focus on God’s grace that was lavished on us through Christ and His crucifixion. You will walk in repentance the more you understand the price that Jesus paid for your sins, faults, failures, and diseases by nailing them to the cross He hung on. Grace is unearned, one-way love that Jesus deposited into your account in exchange for your sin. Because of the cross of Jesus, we can return to grace.

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