Monday, September 07, 2015
Saul Becomes a Believer
His Call on the Road to Damacus
1 And Saul, yet breathing out threatenings and slaughter against the disciples of the Lord, went unto the high priest,
2 And desired of him letters to Damascus to the synagogues, that if he found any of this way, whether they were men or women, he might bring them bound unto Jerusalem.
3 And as he journeyed, he came near Damascus, and suddenly there shined round about him a light from heaven;
4 And he fell to the earth, and heard a voice saying unto him, Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou me?
5 And he said, Who art thou, Lord? And the Lord said, I am Jesus whom thou persecutest; it is hard for thee to kick against the pricks.
6 And he trembling and astonished said, Lord, what wilt thou have me to do? And the Lord said unto him, Arise, and go into the city, and it shall be told thee what thou must do.
7 And they who were journeying with him saw indeed the light, and were afraid; but they heard not the voice of him who spake to him.
8 And Saul arose from the earth; and when his eyes were opened, he saw no man; but they led him by the hand, and brought him into Damascus.
9 And he was three days without sight, and neither did eat nor drink.
Saul’s Baptism by Ananias
10 And there was a certain disciple at Damascus, named Ananias; and to him said the Lord in a vision, Ananias. And he said, Behold, I am here, Lord.
11 And the Lord said unto him, Arise, and go into the street which is called Straight, and inquire in the house of Judas for one called Saul, of Tarsus; for, behold, he prayeth,
12 And hath seen in a vision a man named Ananias coming in, and putting his hand on him, that he might receive his sight.
13 Then Ananias answered, Lord, I have heard by many of this man, how much evil he hath done to thy saints at Jerusalem;
14 And here he hath authority from the chief priests to bind all that call on thy name.
15 But the Lord said unto him, Go thy way; for he is a chosen vessel unto me, to bear my name before the Gentiles, and kings, and the children of Israel;
16 For I will show him how great things he must suffer for my name's sake.
Saul's Sight Is Restored
17 And Ananias went his way, and entered into the house; and putting his hands on him said, Brother Saul, the Lord, even Jesus, that appeared unto thee in the way as thou camest, hath sent me, that thou mightest receive thy sight, and be filled with the Holy Ghost.
18 And immediately there fell from his eyes as it had been scales; and he received sight forthwith, and arose, and was baptized.
19 And when he had received meat, he was strengthened.
I recently banged my hand on a piece of farm equipment and as a result I had a nasty looking sore and then a scab. Now, scabs aren't something I usually talk about but today I will talk about them to make a point. Scabs, for me, are usually brown, red, dark red, even black and the vary in size usually getting smaller as healing takes place.
I have never liked them but years ago I came to the realization that they are a necessary part of healing. They cover up open flesh to keep out dirt and germs and they help prevent infection. So, you see, scabs are necessary. I sometimes put a band-aid over them to hide them and to protect myself but more than likely I just leave them to do their own job.
When Saul had his 'ah ha' moment and took on the new name of Paul, he had a huge problem or scab to overcome. His problem.... his reputation! He was well known to the Christians as a man of trouble for them. And while Paul would have loved to be able to just cover up, hide, and forget about his reputation it just couldn't be done. Paul had to work out his problems and demonstrate to the Christians that he was sorry for his past deeds and that, in fact, he was a new man; that he too was a follower of this man Jesus. This wasn't easy and, like scabs' it took some time to heal the wounds that he had caused. It took time and this 'time' was necessary for him to gain the trust of the people and for him to learn about this Jesus that he had so ardently persecuted. So, time here had a dual function of 'showing' and 'learning'.
In our lives we often make mistakes. Sometimes they are so large that others obviously know about them like a big scab. And it takes time for all wounds to heal. Sometimes others can help us to heal, sometimes we just have to work it out with God's help. Maybe we should take a lesson from Paul that with time, persistence, genuine love, compassion and God's help... wounds will heal.
This week, take some time to consider the 'scabs' in your life that may not be completely healed and therefore may still be a barrier in your life and to your ministry. Maybe with a little concentrated love and forgiveness for self and for others, these areas of life can finally become small or disappear completely.
Remember... don't scratch or pick at 'em. Let God do His job!
"The most important of life's battles is the one we fight daily in the silent chambers of the soul."
- ► 2018 (15)
- ► 2017 (11)
- ► 2016 (40)
- ▼ 2015 (11)
- ► 2007 (114)