For the start of #TheLast100Days challenge, I decided to pick up in Acts, as God lead me to this book last week. I read all of Acts 9 today… well, actually, I think I re-read it because I wanted to really dig deep into the beginning of Saul/Paul’s ministry.
A brief summary or recap for those of your who aren’t familiar with the story, or those who are but just need a refresher (face it… we read this stuff multiple times and get something different each time). Acts is a book about the early church, right after Jesus has been crucified and appears to his disciples in numerous ways for 40 days after his resurrection. What brought me to this book was class discussion where my professor was point out that people can pretend to be Christian (we see a lot of this) and he showed us the example of Simon the sorcerer in Acts 8. This cat actually tried to buy the Holy Spirit’s power…crazy, right? BUT, how often do we see infomercials or pastors preaching about selling the Word or some spiritual object that will get you closer to God? Let me tell you something… the only thing that gets you closer to God is the Holy Spirit, and that was a GIFT given to you by Jesus Christ. His blood payed the price for our sins… so you don’t have to worry about making payments on it too! Done deal.
Okay, so back to Acts 9. Saul is going around literally killing the disciples of Christ. In cold blood, he physically watched and participates in the killings of anyone of says Jesus is the Messiah and Savior. At this point in Acts, he’s issues arrest warrants to do his work, so things are pretty serious. On his way to Damascus, he is confronted by the spirit of Jesus who questions his actions and leaves him blind. Saul doesn’t eat for days, until the Lord sends Ananias to supernaturally (through the power of the God) heal Saul and give him his sight again. Saul gets baptized after this and begins preaching the Good News of Jesus. People are skeptical though, and there is a plot to kill him. He escapes several attempts on his life and the word tells us that he prospers and the Holy Spirit is with him and his crew.
What I really like about the beginning of Saul’s journey is that originally, he didn’t believe in Jesus and he was out to prove everyone who did wrong. How many of us were in that situation in our BC (before Christ) days? How many of us got involved in Bible debates and tried to debunk the Word because it was just too unbelievable? I know I did at one point (circa college) and I think it’s humorous to think about that, since now that I do believe, I think it’s much harder NOT to believe… you know what I mean?
The symbolism here is great, because Jesus blinds Saul, and only when the scales are removed from his eyes does he truly see the truth, and get baptized in the name of Jesus Christ. I was blind before God revealed himself to me. Matter of fact, I probably stayed blind longer than I needed to!
Saul’s story is proof that God chooses and uses the unlikely. He could have easily picked someone else, but he wanted Saul to be the spokesperson for the Jews and non-Jews! He wanted to show people who even the person who doubts the most can be converted into a believer once shown the light. The word says that people didn’t trust Saul and that that didn’t slow him down one bit. He just kept sharing God’s word and kept traveling and preaching to all the people, those who would listen and even those who didn’t, I LOVE this! I just LOVE that God chose Saul, and hear the calling and ran with it. Also, if you know anything about the rest of the new testament, Paul become the major writer and focus of a lot that goes on. This, coming from the man who was originally killing the early christians. Pretty cool, huh?
The last part of this scripture is about Peter bringing Tabitha back to life. Bottom line, anytime God brings someone back from the dead I get a little confused. Why them? What point are you trying to prove by doing this, Lord? I have an unlimited amount of questions about these types of happenings, and would love to hear your comments.
That’s all I’ve got for today. Remember… Please tweet me so I can add you to the list of people participating! So far… this is who I have:
@MsLoveLiLi (this was her idea)