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June 22 | Acts 22:6-16


 

DAILY READING

 

REFLECTION

 

What is Your Story?

by Mary Alice McGinnis


What part of Paul’s story do you relate to? His story is a little different than the prodigal son who took his inheritance and squandered it in wild living. Saul (who became Paul) was very zealous for God. He was in the inner circle of the religious elite. In his pride he vehemently opposed, threatened, imprisoned and even killed those who followed Jesus.


In today’s reading, Paul retells the story of his encounter with Jesus from his own perspective. In Jerusalem, he had been attacked by a group of Jews and was nearly beaten to death. He was arrested by the Romans and Paul asked that he be allowed to speak to the crowd.


Paul tells them his story, how he too had been zealous for the Lord and was opposed to those who followed Jesus.


He levels the playing field, basically saying, “I was just like you!”


Paul tells the crowd that when he found himself confronted with Jesus, he was blinded, humbled and then commissioned.


The words of Ananias are beautiful: “The God of our ancestors has chosen you to know His will and to see the Righteous One and to hear words from His mouth.”


It begs the question, why did God choose Paul? He was persecuting those who loved Jesus and even killing some of them. Yet God CHOSE him. Not for what he had done nor for what he was going to do, but to show what God was doing!! This verse says God chose him for three reasons.


  • To know His will. Saul, a man who thought he KNEW the Lord God and His will, had to be struck blind. He had to be humble and confronted with the TRUTH of who Jesus Christ was. Only then could God reveal His true will. Where in your life have you seen God blind you (figuratively) so that you could see? Maybe God is using some circumstance in your life right now to open your eyes to His will.

 

  • To see the Righteous One. God chose to reveal His risen Son, Jesus Christ, to a man who had been vehemently opposing Him. How is God’s Righteous One, Jesus, being revealed to you? Where has He shown up in your life in ways you cannot explain? How did He or is He now, pointing you to Himself?

 

  • To hear words from His mouth. Jesus spoke to Saul. No one else understood. How has God revealed Himself to you? Even now God is speaking to each of us through His inspired Word – the Bible. Have you ever considered why the creator of the Universe would care enough to talk to you?


Did you know that Paul tells this story at least four times in the New Testament?


  • Here in Acts 22: Telling the story to persuade the Jews.

  • Acts 26: Telling the story to persuade the Gentiles.

  • Philippians 3: Telling the story for theological understanding.

  • 1 Timothy 1: Telling the story to give encouragement.

  

Next Ananias says: "You will be His witness to all people of what you have seen and heard. And now what are you waiting for?"


Jesus confronted Saul on the road to Damascus to invite Him into His story. He changed him, and yet he never forgot the grace of the Lord Jesus and how undeserving he was. Paul joyfully retells his story over and over because he knows it is a story of the relentless kindness of our God who calls the wayward back to Himself. Paul lived the rest of his life dedicated to telling of all the things he had seen and heard.


Jesus is inviting you into His story too. He wants to use you as a witness to tell of the thing He has done and IS doing in your life.


So now, what are you waiting for? 


PRAYER

Lord, forgive me when my pride makes me feel like I have all the right answers. Forgive me when I look down on others. Thank you for the times in my life when in my spiritual blindness, You have humbled me. Remind me again and again that we are all on the same level playing field, in need of a Savior. Help me to be lead with a heart of humility and compassion, knowing that I too am a wayward, fallen sinner in need of Your grace every day. Thank you for choosing me and for inviting me into Your story. Let me never grow tired of telling Your story and all the things You have done for me.



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תגובה אחת


robin.lorms
22 ביוני

WOW!! Thanl you Mary Alice for all of your thoughtful insights into this Scripture. You spent some prayerful time crafting today's blog and we all are very grateful.

God hit me with a baseball bat over 40 years ago about my alcoholism. My best friend confronted me and "immediately" the Holy Spirit convicted me in a way that I was compelled to act on this besetting sin. I never took another dring after that night. Thank you Almighty God for your intercession in my mess and choosing to use me to share the Gospel with others steeped in sin.

I have done prison ministry for 27 years and see clearly how God calls the "dregs of the earth" to repentence…


לייק
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