Daily Devotions for Thursday: by Christina Farris 11/26/2015
Acts 9:1-20 KJV
(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 the men which journeyed with him stood speechless, hearing a voice, but seeing no man.
(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.
(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 enquire 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 shew him how great things he must suffer for my name’s sake.
(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. Then was Saul certain days with the disciples which were at Damascus.
(20) And straightway he preached Christ in the synagogues, that he is the Son of God.
Thanksgiving is one of them holidays were we begin with the light of God and end with shopping the next day. Yet it also goes from shopping into remembrance of our Lord Jesus Christ physical in the flesh birthday. A reminder of our Lord coming to earth in physical form as promised. The birth of light into the world of who God is. Saul as a Jewish priest no doubt understood there was a God, but he did not understand who Jesus was until a brilliant light came and spoke to Saul. A light so bright that it darkened Saul world for three days until God’s people prayed for him.
The light of Christ is brighter then the world we live in. It is brighter then the light of our natural world. It so bright that it puts us into darkness of the reality of our sin and until we repent light will not shine in our world to where we can see the truth before us. I have heard of people trembling to the altar, my own conversion came as a child and was not as dramatic as fear gripping me to the point I ran to the altar, instead it was more like that cartoon where the good angel on one shoulder and the bad angel on the other shoulder, with which path is better type of thing. The love of God for me was more etched in my mind then the fear of hell. Yet the choice of the road to hell loomed at my shoulder. It was much easier to walk toward God seeing him as a loving heavenly Father who willing gave His Son so I might have life. It was much easier to receive Christ knowing his way was best for me then feeling the wrath of God at my door. Yet I often wonder if the fear of God be more etched in my mind would keep me in step a little better when I was younger too.
Here is the point we all walk in darkness and experience the light of Christ in our life directly above us waiting for us to reach up and receive that light. We however sit in a darken world not able to do a thing for God or live for God because our world is without Christ. In truth our inability to serve God only allows our own desires to rule us instead of Christ. What does Christ have to offer, but eternal life, a life free from the darkness of hell and separation from God’s earthly and spiritual light. Christ does not offer us a world of terror and danger with every step. Torture of evil upon those that reject God for eternity. Why is the rejection of God causing torment for the world we live in? To choose not God for some have meant a life a luxury and wealth in this world. A world that does not seem without hope, yet their eternity is without hope. To be without God is to be in a world without the love of God.
Saul found the need to torture God’s people until the dawning of realization that Christians were God’s people. That the reality of the Messiah had come as promised. Saul had walked in a darken world persecuting people he thought were wrong. Christians were in the light of God grace because they receive Christ and were tortured. It sounds like their world was dark as well. Believers were willing to die for their convictions knowing that for eternity they would be with Jesus and not in the fiery pit called hell. Conviction of faith being much greater then any suffering one might endure due to evil people. That conviction being stronger then the world around them. Saul knew that conviction of the heart for when he finally receive Christ the darkness from blindness was removed. The one thing that kept him from moving forward in faith. Saul name would change eventually to Paul for he was well known as one that killed Christians before his conversion to Christianity. It was only by the Holy Spirit conviction on Ananias caused him to go and see this blindness of Saul and pray for his healing.
One can not help reach out to the people in darkness without faith and trusting God to send you to who He wants you to go speak too. Missionaries with a call on their life is commissioned by God to go and speak to a people. It is not a calling of man, but a calling of God. God has called all people to hear his message of Jesus, but not all in ministry are called to the tropics, or beautiful country sides. Some work in inner city streets and others in small villages with very little drinking water that is clean. Yet that calling is not without a harvest, even if it is not in that missionaries life time. God’s protection for each person until their task is complete and once completed God may bring you home to be with him or he just might have another door for you. Your job being to share the gospel and bring light to the Gentiles through knowledge of Jesus being taught and preached.
Dear Heavenly Father thank you for sending your light to brighten our darken world around us. As we go forward in faith help us to share the light of Christ in a darken world. In Jesus precious name Amen.
Daily Bible Verses: Matthew 4:16-17 KJV
(16) The people which sat in darkness saw great light; and to them which sat in the region and shadow of death light is sprung up.
(17) From that time Jesus began to preach, and to say, Repent: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.
Daily God’s Promises: Luke 2:30-32 KJV
(30) For mine eyes have seen thy salvation,
(31) Which thou hast prepared before the face of all people;
(32) A light to lighten the Gentiles, and the glory of thy people Israel.