dailybiblereader2012

Putting God's Word into Practice…

Acts 9:1-31 In the beginning…Saul

on July 4, 2012

We first get introduced to the young man, Saul, in 7:58 when Stephen was being stoned and the people responsible laid down their clothing at his feet. In 8:1 it says, “And Saul approved of his execution.”  Acts 8:3 says, “But Saul was ravaging the church, and entering house after house, he dragged off men and women and committed them to prison.” (God was already using Saul to fulfill His command getting the believers to go into other parts of the world with the gospel.)  We catch up again with Saul in chapter 9.  Saul was still “breathing threats and murder against the disciples of the Lord.” He went “on HIS way” gathering up any belonging “to THE Way.”  In John 14:6 Jesus declared Himself “the Way.”  Therefore Saul was after those who belonged to Jesus.  I think that it is interesting that where Saul was going was described as “on his way.”  Although he appeared to be doing what was right in his own eyes and had no regard for the right way, Saul’s way led him to a very real, supernatural and life-altering encounter with THE Way!

When Saul saw the light flash and heard a voice speaking to him, he was quick to recognize that it came from the Lord–he learned specifically it was Jesus–thus placing Jesus equal in power and glory with the Father.

Jesus said, “Rise and enter the city.” Saul rose and entered the city though he could not see and needed assistance.  While in the city, Saul fasted and prayed for three days (9,11).

Ananias was called on by God, and his first response was right on: “Here I am , Lord.”  Yet, when the Lord told him to go to Saul, Ananias was understandably filled with fear and hesitation.  The Lord did not get angry with Ananias or move on to another disciple.  In patience, He said, “Go,” again and comforted Ananias.  Ananias responded in obedience and faith.

Saul immediately started proclaiming Jesus as Lord and God in the synagogues.  He didn’t wait for lessons on how to share his faith.  He knew what he experienced and proclaimed the change in his heart  and his new view of Jesus as Savior.

This resulted in a death threat by the Jewish people against Saul. (My, my, my how the tables turn!)  “His disciples” (People are quick to follow someone who’s life was so evidently changed in such a powerful way.) helped him escape to Jerusalem where he continued to boldly declare Jesus as Lord and salvation only through His name.  (We should be wary of any teacher who points people to anything/one other than Jesus or who’s dominant focus is on anything/one other than Jesus.)

What was the outcome of Saul’s boldness?  Verse 31 tells us, “So the church throughout all Judea and Galilee and Samaria had peace and was being built up. And walking in the fear of the Lord and in the comfort of the Holy Spirit, it multiplied.”

May it be true of our church, Lord!

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