Friday, June 19

The Scripture focus of our online and on campus worship this coming Sunday is how Saul was met by the Lord Jesus on the road to Damascus, and especially the part Ananias had to play, Acts 9:10-20:

Now there was a believer in Damascus named Ananias. The Lord spoke to him in a vision, calling, “Ananias!”

“Yes, Lord!” he replied.

The Lord said, “Go over to Straight Street, to the house of Judas. When you get there, ask for a man from Tarsus named Saul. He is praying to me right now. I have shown him a vision of a man named Ananias coming in and laying hands on him so he can see again.”

“But Lord,” exclaimed Ananias, “I’ve heard many people talk about the terrible things this man has done to the believers in Jerusalem! And he is authorized by the leading priests to arrest everyone who calls upon your name.”

But the Lord said, “Go, for Saul is my chosen instrument to take my message to the Gentiles and to kings, as well as to the people of Israel. And I will show him how much he must suffer for my name’s sake.”

So Ananias went and found Saul. He laid his hands on him and said, “Brother Saul, the Lord Jesus, who appeared to you on the road, has sent me so that you might regain your sight and be filled with the Holy Spirit.” Instantly something like scales fell from Saul’s eyes, and he regained his sight. Then he got up and was baptized. Afterward he ate some food and regained his strength.

Saul stayed with the believers in Damascus for a few days. And immediately he began preaching about Jesus in the synagogues, saying, “He is indeed the Son of God!”

Saul had been radicalized into some version of militant Judaism. He acted as if violence were necessary for restoring God’s Kingdom to Israel. Having to deal with such a man was clearly a concern for Ananias. Yet Ananias did his part by baptizing Saul and praying for his sight to be restored. 

The phenomenal thing is how the Lord Jesus is so directly involved in the affairs of his church—challenging Saul directly and then delegating the arrangements for his discipleship. He is like a master chess player, but one who constantly brings new pieces onto the board as his former enemies repent and believe in Him. Are you a piece he can use to bring his Kingdom more fully into our generation? Are you sensing his direction in your life?

Prayer: Lord, help me perceive the many ways you may be at work around me. Give me spiritual wisdom so I can understand your will for my life. Help me do my part to make disciples in my family and friendship circles, or with whomever you bring to me.