And I said, 'Lord, they themselves understand that in one synagogue after another I used to imprison andbeat those who believed in You. And when the blood of Your witness Stephen was being shed, I also was standing by approving, and watching out for the coats of those who were slaying him.' And He said to me, 'Go! For I will send you far away to the Gentiles.'"
In Chapter 22 Paul gives his testimony. Paul tells how he came face to face with Jesus and heard his condemnation, ““I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting.” (v 9:5) He also heard Jesus' calling upon his life, to get up and go where I tell you. He then he went to Annais, and he was baptized and confirmed the calling on his life. (9:18) Later he went to church (the Temple) and he was praying to Jesus, and Jesus again called to him. And what was his response? He looked back into his past, and focused on his past, the things he had done in his past, and tried to back out of his calling. Jesus saw his future and the things he would do. Paul saw his past. Jesus saw his future. Paul lived into his pastfailed, and misguided plans. Jesus lives into his future great plans for him. Paul remembered and retained. Jesus forgot and forgave. Paul saw himself through eyes of condemnation. Jesus saw Paul through the eyes of grace.
Paul accepted Jesus' grace and forgiveness. He surrendered his past to Christ and Jesus anointed his past, covered it with his blood, broke any chains it held on Paul, and sanctified it as an instrument to be used to his glory and the spreading of the gospel of grace and forgiveness. Paul accepted Jesus as his Lord, and surrendered everything to Christ including his past, and the result was this amazing testimony of his we are reading about now in Acts.
Prayer: Insert your name into these three versus and read them slowly out loud to yourself for a few minutes. And embrace the truth Jesus is speaking over you.
2 Corinthians 5:17-18
17Therefore if _________ is in Christ, he/she is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come.
5And He who sits on the throne said, "Behold, I am making _________ new "
Therefore there is now no condemnation for ________ who is in Christ Jesus.
You accepted Jesus as you Lord, and you need to surrendered everything to Christ including your past. The result will be an amazing testimony of how Christ used you to spread his gospel of free grace and forgiveness. We are in a time of praying together as a church to be guided by the Holy Spirit into new areas of ministry for us. This is only possible if we step out of the old areas.
Next, insert the names of at least one friend, co worker, family member, or someone you know who needs to hear these words, and pray these versus out loud over them. If so led call/text and share these versus with them.
This is are final week in Acts. Remember we are committed to:
Spend time daily in SOAPS or other searching of the daily Scripture.
Fast one day a week in prayer.
Spend at least one solid hour a week in prayer.
Add a lunch + prayer over ODC and our ministry.
As we begin this last week, please share your reflections for this time, and any revelations or calling The Holy Spirit has given you. Your posts and comments have been fewer in number than I had hoped. I would love to hear from you.