Saturday, March 24, 2012

Acts 9:23-25

Summary retelling of Acts 9: 23-25:

Some time goes by with Saul preaching in the synagogue.  Some of the Jews decide that like Jesus, he needs to die.  They start watching the public roads to try and find a time to kill him.  Saul finds out about the plot.  Some of Saul’s students take Saul and help get him out of Damascus safely by lowering him down in a basket. 

Thoughts for Today:
First Thought:
I don’t find it hard to believe that people wanted to kill Saul at all.  After all, he had come to Damascus to help solve the problem of the Christians and now he seemed to be joining their side!  From the perspective of the Jews, Saul had to be the Benedict Arnold before there was a Benedict Arnold.  He was a turncoat, and what’s worse is that he was making disciples.  The turncoat was taking people among them and turning them away from traditional Judaism.  From their perspective, he needed to be done away with.

Are you at all surprised by the actions of the Jews?  Have you ever been a victim of someone who used to be on your side that turned to the opposition?  How does this point us to the greater truth that we should not be concerned with “who is on our side” but rather be concerned with “am I on God’s side?”

Second Thought:
Saul makes disciples.  There it is, plain as day.  Saul isn’t fully prepared yet.  He isn’t “officially trained.”  He’s not been “rubber-stamped” by the church to make disciples.  But he is doing it nonetheless.  It’s on his agenda, and he accomplishes this fact.

How are you doing with the whole “make disciples” concept?  Are you talking to people who either don’t believe or who believe differently than you and trying to get them to see your point of view?  Are you trying to bring people into the truth?

Third Thought:
Saul sees the intentions of death by those around him.  At first, it has got to be neat to realize that you are being so effective that people want to kill you.  I mean, the death thing aside and all – isn’t it cool to think that Saul is so effective that people want him dead, and dead right now?  On the other hand, it is pretty scary, too.  If Saul is going to live, he needs to let go of the “pride” that comes from realizing just how effective he has been.  He needs to humbly be lowered out of the town in a basket.  He needs to run and flee from the fight in order to survive.

How often does our pride get us into trouble?  Is it usually better to stand up in pride or run to fight another day?  How can you learn to decide when to take either tactic?

Passage for Tomorrow: Acts 9:26-27

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