TODAY'S WORD FOR Tuesday, June 25, 2019:
The act or effect of convincing; a firm belief; proving to find guilty.
And Saul, yet breathing out threatenings and slaughter against the disciples of the Lord, went into the high priests, and desired of him letters to Damascus to the synagogues that if he found any of this way, whether they be men or women, he might bring them bound into Jerusalem.
KNOWLEDGE AND EXPERIENCE:
Before one can come to know Jesus as one’s personal Savior, they must be personally convicted realizing that they are sinners. Then they must ask for forgiveness and ask Jesus to come into their heart.
Most non-believers do not understand what we mean by conviction. The scriptures give us one of the clearest explanations of conviction with the life of Saul. Saul, later known as Paul, was a Jew, not a foreigner. He was born in Tarsus but was raised in Jerusalem because his parents wanted him to be educated in the Mosaic Law by Israel’s greatest teachers (Acts 26:4). Being educated in the strictest of the Jewish Law he became a Pharisee, a small sect of men who were totally dedicated to living out the law (Acts 22: 3-4).
Saul was zealous about keeping the Law and as a practicing Jew he was zealously dedicated to persecute the Christians and the Christian church. He had this zeal believing that he was pleasing God. In Acts 9:1-2 we are told (above), he had a flaming fury against Christ and His disciples.
Saul actually hunted down believers and slaughtered them. He volunteered to the high priests and the Sanhedrin to go all the way to Damascus to arrest believers, both men and women, and bring them to Jerusalem for trial.
As Saul was walking down the road to Damascus to fulfill his plan to arrest Christian men and women and bring them to Jerusalem for trial, God had other plans for Saul. A bright light shone all around Saul and the men that were with him. It appeared suddenly from heaven, out of nowhere and totally unexpected. It was supernatural and miraculous, totally outshining the sun.
It was a confrontation between Saul and the Lord. Saul saw the appearance of Jesus in His glory and heard a voice speak to him. The men with Saul heard the voice but did not understand the words and they saw no one, only the light. The Lord was delivering a personal message to Saul. Saul was charged with a terrible sin. Opposing and persecuting Jesus Himself.
How many times have you seemingly heard an inner voice trying to convict you of your sin? Jesus called his name twice: “Saul, Saul” showing tenderness, love and concern. Not only was God rebuking Saul but it was an appeal from God for Saul to listen and obey. Saul now realized that it was Jesus he was opposing.
Saul was stricken down, humbled, convicted, and frightened upon his encounter with God on the road to Damascus. Saul cried out in desperation, “Who art thou, Lord?” He knew that it was the Lord that he was supposed to know, but he did not personally know Him. He cried out, “tell me Lord, identify yourself, and let me know You.” Saul was “going through the conviction process.”
When Paul realized that he had been opposing God Himself can you imagine the guilt he felt? Paul had been doing what he sincerely believed was right but he was sincerely wrong. He was lost and separated from God, bound for an eternal hell.
All this happened in a few short seconds on the road to Damascus in an encounter between Saul and the Lord. Have you had your personal encounter with God causing you to acknowledge that you are a sinner? Has the conviction you feel for your sin led you to accept Jesus as your Savior?
Our memory verse for this week is found in Luke 2:52.
And Jesus increased in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and men.
Thank You Lord for the illustration that You have given us in Your Word that it is not religious practices that brings us into a right relationship with Jesus but it is the conviction that we are sinners and need to accept Jesus as our Savior who alone is able to atone for sins and make us righteous. As You spoke to Saul on the road to Damascus may You speak to those in my family that need an encounter with 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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