Show Yourself to me, Lord. My eyes are cloudy, my mind worldly. I am weary and worn. Send Your light.
Read Acts 9:1-9
Scripture taken from the Holy Bible, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 International Bible Society. All rights reserved throughout the world. Used by permission of International Bible Society.
Think back to the first time you were aware of God. Thank him for all that he has done in your life since then.
At this stage there is no separation between church and synagogue—Saul goes to the synagogues to search out those who belong to the Way, an early term for the Christians (19:9,23; 22:4; 24:14,22). This, perhaps, recalls Jesus’ description of himself (John 14:6). For Luke, it indicates the way of salvation (16:17; 18:26) and a way of life. The early Christians were marked out by what they believed and did. The followers of Jesus in every generation are intended to be people of the Way. It may be worth asking ourselves what there is about us that differentiates us from those around us, and would identify us as followers of Jesus.
Saul’s conversion marks a complete turnaround. It has tended to become the archetypal conversion model, but not everyone in the New Testament comes to faith in such a dramatic way, and there are no grounds for suggesting that everyone today should come to faith like that. For many people, conversion is a process in which understanding and trust grows gradually. Gradual or sudden, our experience of the risen Christ shapes our thinking and our ministry which, like Paul’s, is based on the conviction that Jesus has risen and, in doing so, has introduced a new order. It shapes our understanding of the church and its relationship to Christ; to persecute followers of Jesus is to persecute Jesus. It places a new call on our lives. What God’s call means for Paul has yet to be fully seen, but there is no doubt that he is now under a new authority; later he will describe himself as the slave or the servant of Jesus. We are in the same position, but we do not find it easy to describe ourselves in such language.
What effects do you expect your conversion to have on your thinking, your relationships, your obedience to Christ and your calling to mission?
Lord Jesus, I’m thankful that You’re the way to the Father. I do not come before the Lord in my own righteousness, but clothed in Yours.
Click here to sign up to receive the EXTRAs via email each quarter.