TODAY'S WORD FOR Monday, September 17, 2018:
Spiritual change from sinfulness to righteousness; a change from indifference; disbelief or antagonism to acceptance, faith or enthusiastic support; especially such a change involving religious belief.
And Ananias went his way and entered the house; and laying his hands on him he said, “Brother Saul, the Lord Jesus, who appeared to you on the road as you came, has sent me that you may receive your sight and be filled with the Holy Spirit”.
KNOWLEDGE AND EXPERIENCE:
Saul and Jesus had their encounter on the road to Damascus. Saul, being blind since his encounter with Jesus, was under great conviction and Jesus told Saul to “Arise and go into the city, and it shall be told thee what you must do.” (Acts 9:6).
Saul did just what the Lord told him to do, but we need to remind you that the Lord knew that Saul needed time for the Holy Spirit to do His work in Saul’s heart. Obediently, Saul waited for three days for God’s next words.
During these three days Saul was blind. His eyes were closed. Saul was unable to eat or drink for these three days. The trauma drained all of Saul’s strength and he was completely exhausted. During these three days the Lord saw that Saul’s mind was completely shut off to the distractions of the world. He was left alone to pray and repent over his shameful deeds and to ponder what changes would happen in his life now.
Although Saul had lost his physical vision, he had a new vision of what he was and who Jesus was. Surely Saul must have visualized every stone he cast at Stephen as a stone cast at God, and every believer’s home he had stormed into as a home of those who worshipped the true God. Now he saw every man and woman who accepted Jesus that he drug through the streets as being a true follower of God. He had been blind to the truth.
After hours of seeing the past, Saul had to wonder, “Why was Jesus choosing him, the one who so fiercely opposed the Lord? “What did Jesus want from him and what was He going to tell him to do?”
The Lord now needed someone to help Saul come to know Christ and to be with Saul in his new found faith. God always has His people ready to do His work. God chose Ananias to lead him in his new found faith in the Lord (the verse above). God had changed Saul’s name to Paul, but Ananias knew all about Paul when he was Saul the persecutor of those who believed in Jesus.
Just imagine the concern that Ananias had about going to the house where Paul was. Would Saul arrest him and take him to prison as he had done to so many others who followed Jesus? But Ananias was sure that God had called him to go and talk to Saul, so he went obediently with the confidence that God would be with him.
Upon the arrival of Ananias at the house, God began to do His work. God gave Ananias the right words and the power to restore Paul’s eyesight. Ananias was willing to face difficult assignments. Reaching out and helping someone who denies that Jesus is God’s Son is always difficult and even more so with a person such as Saul who was intent on persecuting those who proclaim Jesus to be their Lord and Savior. The more depraved the convert has been, the more difficult is the task. After Saul met Jesus he was never the same again. He was completely converted. He went from a persecutor to a preacher.
Where do you stand today? Have you been blind to the truth of God’s message of love and forgiveness? If so, now is the time. God is waiting for you to ask for forgiveness for your sins and to be changed completely. God wants you to be converted from your old ways to a new life through Christ Jesus.
God used Ananias to teach Paul what to do. Today we have the Bible, God’s Word, to teach us what to do. After we are converted the Holy Spirit indwells us. Pray and read God’s Word and the Holy Spirit will open your eyes to what God wants you to do.
Our memory verse for this week is found in John 1:12.
But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become the children of God, to those who believe in His name.
I realize, Lord, that I need a conversion from my sinful ways. I ask You to forgive me of all my sins and I accept You as my Lord and Savior. Instruct me through Your Word as to how to live my new life in Jesus. I ask You Lord to lead me to a person today that I can share my testimony of faith and help them know you as their Savior.
IMPORTANT: Let us know if you just accepted Jesus as your Savior so we can pray for you.
These Family Devotional thoughts are written by Dr. Ken Phillips, Executive Director of America's Hunger
Solution, and his wife Dottie. Ken has had ministry positions
with The Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, World Vision, Youth For Christ, World Opportunities International,
and World Bible Society. He also has consulted for more than 30 Christian ministries in management and stewardship
development. They have published a book called No Problems Only Situations that discusses the journey of their family.
Ken and Dottie have been married for 60 years, and have 6 children, 20 grandchildren, and 3 great grandchildren. Their
second book, TODAY'S WORD, includes 365 daily
devotionals and is now available for only $10.
Ken & Dottie Phillips
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