Meanwhile, Saul was still breathing out murderous threats against the Lord’s disciples. He went to the high priest and asked him for letters to the synagogues in Damascus, so that if he found any there who belonged to the Way, whether men or women, he might take them as prisoners to Jerusalem.
As he neared Damascus on his journey, suddenly a light from heaven flashed around him. He fell to the ground and heard a voice say to him, “Saul, Saul, why do you persecute me?”
“Who are you, Lord?” Saul asked.
I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting,” he replied. “Now get up and go into the city, and you will be told what you must do.”
The men traveling with Saul stood there speechless; they heard the sound but did not see anyone. Saul got up from the ground, but when he opened his eyes he could see nothing. So they led him by the hand into Damascus. For three days he was blind, and did not eat or drink anything.
In Damascus there was a disciple named Ananias. The Lord called to him in a vision, “Ananias!”
“Yes, Lord,” he answered.
The Lord told him, “Go to the house of Judas on Straight Street and ask for a man from Tarsus named Saul, for he is praying. In a vision he has seen a man named Ananias come and place his hands on him to restore his sight.”
“Lord,” Ananias answered, “I have heard many reports about this man and all the harm he has done to your holy people in Jerusalem. And he has come here with authority from the chief priests to arrest all who call on your name.”
But the Lord said to Ananias, “Go! This man is my chosen instrument to proclaim my name to the Gentiles and their kings and to the people of Israel. I will show him how much he must suffer for my name.”
Then Ananias went to the house and entered it. Placing his hands on Saul, he said, “Brother Saul, the Lord—Jesus, who appeared to you on the road as you were coming here—has sent me so that you may see again and be filled with the Holy Spirit.”
Immediately, something like scales fell from Saul’s eyes, and he could see again. He got up and was baptized, and after taking some food, he regained his strength. Saul spent several days with the disciples in Damascus.
At once he began to preach in the synagogues that Jesus is the Son of God. All those who heard him were astonished and asked, “Isn’t he the man who raised havoc in Jerusalem among those who call on this name? And hasn’t he come here to take them as prisoners to the chief priests?”
Yet Saul grew more and more powerful and baffled the Jews living in Damascus by proving that Jesus is the Messiah.
“‘What shall I do, Lord?’ I asked.
“‘Get up,’ the Lord said, ‘and go into Damascus. There you will be told all that you have been assigned to do.’”
Early followers of Christ were called “People of The Way.”
The Way is still the same today.
God is more interested in our relationship to Him than He is in our religion.
Two of Life’s Most Important Questions
“Who are you, Lord?” (19: 5) – Establishing a relationship.
“What shall I do, Lord?” (22:10) – Helping by giving back out of love and gratitude.
Five Keys on a Life-Givers Journey
God’s Timing. Never late … sometimes scary. (9:1-2)
- We must believe that God has the power to change lives.
- We trust His timing.
- God’s intervention at the right time leads to spiritual harvest.
Live-givers trust God’s schedule.
God’s Vision. Sees the potential … not the predicted.
- When you are persecuted for Christ, it is Christ being persecuted, not you.
- We need to imagine impossible people as effective witnesses and believe they will become that, praying for it to happen.
God’s Grace. Available to all … regardless of reputation.
God’s Call. Requires obedience … with our without understanding.
- God called Ananias to go, and he went.
- This story isn’t only Paul’s call. It’s Ananias’ call, too.
- Whatever God wants you to do … DO IT!
God’s Love. Breaks down barriers … builds bridges.
- The bridge building word in this passage is brother.
- Roads may lead nowhere, but bridges are built with intentional destinations in mind.
Life-givers intentionally build bridges of friendship.
Next Timeless Truths: The Stop Sign: Mighty God
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