Thursday, March 22, 2012

Acts 9:18-19

Summary retelling of Acts 9: 18-19:

Immediately that which was obscuring Saul’s vision fell from his eyes and he could see again.  Then he got up and was baptized.  Then he ate, found some strength, and got back to life.  Then he hung out with the disciples for a while.

Thoughts for Today:
First Thought:
Immediately Saul was healed.  God had obstructed Saul’s vision; now God un-obstructs the vision.  This is a demonstration for Saul to show him that Jesus was the one with all the power.  It meant that God could do what he said and was capable of being trusted.

I understand that most of us have not ever had this kind of experience.  But have you ever been in a place where God seemed to give you exactly what you needed at a moment in life?  How does that affect you?

Second Thought:
Saul ate and regained his strength.  I think that there is a physical description and a spiritual description going on here.  Literally, Saul had been fasting without food or water for three days.  He had to be hungry and his body had to be running on empty.  By eating, Saul is resolving that issue.  However, there is a spiritual issue here as well.  Saul was dazed and confused by how God seemed to be turning his life upside down.  He was so much in spiritual shock that he wasn’t even interested in eating.  Now that Saul has received a demonstration of Jesus’ power, Saul knows that he has his answer.  He needs to change.  He was wrong.  It was going to be work to get himself into this new place of faith, but it was time to quit putting it off, quit resisting, and get to the work.  So he eats.

Do you ever put things off from a faith perspective?  Do you ever feel mired down as though you are just spinning your wheels?  What do you need to do to get straightened out and get back on course again?

Third Thought:
Saul’s first task after eating to regain his strength is just to hang with the disciples.  Saul doesn’t immediately go out and start doing missionary journeys.  Saul doesn’t immediately go out to non-Christians and start converting them.  Saul has to learn the ropes.  He has to deepen his faith in Jesus.  He has to legitimately spend time with the disciples and learn from their example.  If he is going to have anything to offer, he has to learn it first.  We know from history that he is perhaps the greatest evangelist to have ever lived.  But he begins in humbleness.  He hangs out with the disciples and soaks up everything that he can possibly learn from them.  He wants God to use him, so he needs to grow as much from what the people around him can offer.  Saul genuinely submits to the authority of the disciples so that he can learn.

There is a famous saying: “Every great act done by a Christian begins on our knees.”  How is humbleness and submission reflected in that statement?  How good are you at being willing to be humble and submit?

Passage for Tomorrow: Acts 9:20-22
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