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June 3 | Acts 9:19-31


 

DAILY READING


 

REFLECTION


Strength and Power

by Mary Alice McGinnis


It is a reality that the strongest, most powerful person can become weak in an instant. A cancer diagnosis, a car accident, or the death of a loved one can steal our vitality suddenly. Even just getting another year older or a little more sedentary will cause our strength to dwindle.


The main character in today’s reading is Saul of Tarsus.


Saul was a strong, powerful individual, at least in a worldly sense. He was a high "muckety-muck" among the Jewish leaders (the Pharisees) of his day. Highly educated, intelligent, influential, and an extremely ambitious rabbi.


Saul was using every fiber of his power to persecute the first Christians, dragging many off to prison, and being a party to the execution of others. He was so passionate about his cause that he expanded his search for these Christians outside of Jerusalem to a town called Damascus. Damascus was 160 miles and a 6-day journey from Jerusalem.


On his way to Damascus, this powerful man, Saul, was struck blind when Jesus appeared to him. And in an instant, Saul became weak. (Check out the beginning of Acts 9 for the full story).

He was so distraught that he did not eat or drink anything for three full days.


Verse 19 of Acts Chapter 9 begins:


“...and after taking some food, he regained his strength.”


It was not just the food that strengthened Saul. He was spiritually strengthened too.

In Acts 9:17, when Ananias restored Saul’s sight, he said:


“Brother Saul, the Lord—Jesus, who appeared to you on the road as you were coming here has sent me so that you may see again and be filled with the Holy Spirit.”

Amid Saul’s weakest moment God was creating something new. Through the filling of the Holy Spirit, he lifted the scales of Spiritual blindness from Saul’s eyes.


Did you notice that even though Saul was rejected by the Jews he preached to, and was initially feared by the disciples, his strength did not wane. It GREW!


Verse 22 says, “Yet Saul grew more and more powerful...”


The Jews attempted to kill him, and so he, who was once a “high muckety muck” now had to sneak out-of-town hiding in a basket.


And this was only the beginning. Saul, later known as the Apostle Paul, suffered trail after trail, danger upon danger.


Saul the persecutor became Paul the persecuted.


The more hardship he endured, the more powerfully the Holy Spirit filled him.


God turns our thinking about strength and power upside down, doesn’t He?


Perhaps God’s definition of POWER = Perceiving Our Weakness Enables Rebirth.


PRAYER PRACTICE

Lord, remind me once again not to rely upon my own strength. Remove my spiritual blindness and help me to see that ONLY through


Perceiving my

Own

Weakness are You

Enabling me to be

Reborn to new life in You.


Your grace is enough for me. Thank you, that Your power is made perfect in my weakness.














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