Spread the love

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Daily Reading: 1 Kings 11:1-12:19 ESV, Acts 9:1-25 ESV, Psalm 131:1-3 ESV, Proverbs 17:4-5 ESV

Daily Verse: “And falling to the ground, he heard a voice saying to him, “Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting me?” (Acts 9:4 ESV)

DIOKO (1377): “To drive away, to persecute, suffer persecution.”[i]

Suffer Persecution.

Saul, who eventually became Paul, met Jesus on the road to Damascus.  On Saul’s way to Jerusalem, he planned on rounding up Christians, taking them to the city for persecution.  But then a light from heaven shone, bringing Saul to his knees, blinding him. 

After the encounter, the men with Saul led him to Damascus. Saul remained blind, not eating or drinking for three days.  God sent Ananias to Saul, explaining Jesus’ appearance to him.  Immediately, the scales fell from Saul’s eyes, filled with the Holy Spirit; he experienced baptism, then ate, strengthened for his new mission, proclaiming Jesus to the world.

Chosen Instrument.

When God sent Ananias to Saul, he didn’t want to go.  Saul killed and persecuted many Christ-followers, yet now God wants to use him to spread the Gospel.  I can understand Ananias hesitancy.  But God knows best:

“Go, for he is a chosen instrument of mine to carry my name before the Gentiles and kings and the children of Israel. For I will show him how much he must suffer for the sake of my name.” (Acts 9:15-16 ESV)

Saul caused much suffering for the early followers of Jesus.  And once he met Christ, Saul suffered much for Him: beatings, shipwrecks, snake bites, stoning, all for Jesus.

We don’t understand the level of suffering Saul endured because we haven’t experienced it. During those three days of blindness, Saul did some soul searching, rethinking his entire worldview.  From Pharisee of Pharisees, he became Jesus’ most prominent advocate, giving his life for the Lord.

Following Jesus makes us His chosen instrument to impact the world we live in today.  Wherever you live, God planted you there for a reason.  Loving the people God gives you fulfills His mission for your life.  Sharing Christ with everyone, through word and deed, will grow God’s kingdom.  God multiplies our efforts.

Lay your past at the foot of the cross.  Allow Jesus’ Spirit to take the lead in your life.  If Saul could become Paul, what God can do with you has no limits.  Trust the Creator; let Him create a new life in you.

[i] Strong, J., & Strong, J. (2010). The New Strong’s expanded exhaustive concordance of the Bible. Greek Dictionary of the New Testament (p. 71) Thomas Nelson

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