Sunday, March 18, 2012

Acts 9:5-6

Summary retelling of Acts 9: 5-6:

From his knees – or likely from the fetal position – Paul inquires to know who is it that has the power to knock him to the ground.  Paul calls the mysterious power “Lord.”  The voice declares itself to be Jesus, the one that Paul is persecuting.  Then the voice gives a loving command.  The voice tells Paul to go into the city where he will receive further instruction.

Thoughts for Today:
First Thought:
 Again, it is neat to see the humility of people when they are genuinely in the presence of God.  From these verses, you get the idea that Paul had no ability to resist God.  He had no ability to do anything under the powerful thumb of God except fall to the ground.  I’m saying this so that we are afraid of God.  But I am saying it so that we are mindful of how small we really are.  We like to be macho and think that we are invincible.  But we are not.  When push comes to shove we are ultimately pretty fragile people.  It is nice to be reminded of this fact from time to time.

How do you see yourself as overly macho?  Where do you see yourself as frail?

Second Thought:
Jesus continues to be direct.  Jesus identifies himself as the one that Paul is persecuting.  What I like about this is that Jesus does not say, “I am the God of the people that you are persecuting.”  No, Jesus says that Paul is persecuting Him directly.  When people pick on Christians because of their faith, they are actually challenging God to His face.

Is it neat to think that God takes it personally when we are persecuted for our faith?

Third Thought:
I can only imagine how relieved Paul must have been when he heard Jesus tell him to continue on in the city.  As he is folded up on the road under the watchful eye of God, I bet he genuinely thought he was a dead man.  I bet he genuinely thought that he was going to pay for his actions.  Then God says to him that his life will continue and he needs to start listening.  Now that’s grace, folks!

Have you ever thought about this event from this perspective?  How often have you done something for which God has every right to judge you negatively and yet He has chosen to forgive you and let you live?

Passage for Tomorrow: Acts 9:7-9
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