Good morning! Have you ever looked back on your life and said, if it hadn’t been for the Lord I don’t know where I would be? Or maybe you know, and you are that much more grateful to the Lord. Join me as we continue where we left off yesterday, with the Apostle Paul explaining to King Agrippa.
Bible verse – Acts 26:9-18 NLT
“9 “I used to believe that I ought to do everything I could to oppose the very name of Jesus the Nazarene.[a] 10 Indeed, I did just that in Jerusalem. Authorized by the leading priests, I caused many believers[b] there to be sent to prison. And I cast my vote against them when they were condemned to death. 11 Many times I had them punished in the synagogues to get them to curse Jesus.[c] I was so violently opposed to them that I even chased them down in foreign cities.
12 “One day I was on such a mission to Damascus, armed with the authority and commission of the leading priests. 13 About noon, Your Majesty, as I was on the road, a light from heaven brighter than the sun shone down on me and my companions. 14 We all fell down, and I heard a voice saying to me in Aramaic,[d] ‘Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting me? It is useless for you to fight against my will.[e]’
15 “‘Who are you, lord?’ I asked.
“And the Lord replied, ‘I am Jesus, the one you are persecuting. 16 Now get to your feet! For I have appeared to you to appoint you as my servant and witness. Tell people that you have seen me, and tell them what I will show you in the future. 17 And I will rescue you from both your own people and the Gentiles. Yes, I am sending you to the Gentiles 18 to open their eyes, so they may turn from darkness to light and from the power of Satan to God. Then they will receive forgiveness for their sins and be given a place among God’s people, who are set apart by faith in me.’”
These verses often remind me that Jesus our Lord and Savior can use anyone from any background to fulfill His purpose for His people. Paul was well educated and respected, however he persecuted Christians and stood by as they were being tried and sentenced to death. Our Lord, the One who sees and knows everything, stopped Paul in his tracks and changed his life forever.
The verses that stands out is when the Lord gave Paul his mission and purpose: vv.17b-18 – “I am sending you to the Gentiles 18 to open their eyes, so they may turn from darkness to light and from the power of Satan to God.“
If the Gentiles were to open their eyes, the Lord said: “Then they will receive forgiveness for their sins and be given a place among God’s people, who are set apart by faith in me.’“
Sisters and brothers, the Lord has a purpose and a plan for each of our lives. Our testimony may not be like Paul – blinded or walking down a Damascus road when the Lord reveals His plan, but if we sit still and listen we will hear from the Lord and He will direct our path and use our testimony to help others. He will speak to us, calling us to repentance and we will continue to be transformed into His likeness. He will use us to speak life to those who are in darkness or are wandering.
- Are you struggling to hear from the Lord?
- Are you unsure what steps to take?
- Are you willing to let go of the things that have kept you from following the Lord’s plan for you?
Reflect on this verse that I have been reading and seeing in different places for the past two weeks.
20 Although the Lord gives you the bread of adversity and the water of affliction, your teachers will be hidden no more; with your own eyes you will see them. 21 Whether you turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear a voice behind you, saying, “This is the way; walk in it.” 22 Then you will desecrate your idols overlaid with silver and your images covered with gold; you will throw them away like a menstrual cloth and say to them, “Away with you!”
The Lord knows exactly where you are and where you would be without Him, and He still loves you and wants to use you. Allow space for the Lord to speak and for you to hear and be obedient.
Father God we thank you for your love and compassion. Thank you for your mercy and grace over our lives. Lord, you know every detail about us and you still love us. Lord, thank you for your unconditional love toward us. Thank you for never turning away from us, even when we ran in a different direction. Lord, help us to be readers, hearers and doers of your word. Lord, help us to apply all the wisdom in the word – the Bible, to our lives and daily living. Lord, equip us for the task we may encounter today. Give us boldness of faith, strength and peace. Heal those who are suffering from COVID-19 and other diseases. Give patience, peace and quiet time to parents. Give them renewed energy and equip them to raise them in your truth. Lord, protect the innocent and use us all as you please. In Jesus name, amen.
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