Observations from today’s readings and today’s S-WOD, Tuesday, 16 February 21:
Acts 9:4, 5 – “And falling to the ground, he heard a voice saying to him, ‘Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting me?’ And he said, ‘Who are you, Lord?’”
Acts 9:17 – “So Ananias departed and entered the house. And laying his hands on him he said, ‘Brother Saul, the Lord Jesus who appeared to you on the road by which you came has sent me so that you may regain your sight and be filled with the Holy Spirit.’”
God chose Saul; Saul did not choose God. Quite the contrary, Saul was a sworn enemy of Christ. Nonetheless, God would further demonstrate His sovereignty through the life of Saul. God stopped Saul in his tracks and transformed his life, and there was nothing Saul could do about it.
In His Sovereignty, God chose Ananias as His instrument in Paul’s life, much to Ananias’ dismay. Once again, God demonstrates that His thoughts are not our thoughts and His ways are not our ways – who would have dreamed of such a thing? Certainly not Ananias.
Note too how God said that when Saul persecuted Christians, he was actually persecuting Him.
Some takeaways: God saves who He shall save, and He takes the initiative in salvation, not us. God calls His disciples, led by the Holy Spirit and under His authority, to participate in what He is doing in the lives of others, and as people treat His disciples, so they treat Him. When disciples are persecuted, they are in fellowship with Christ – “But rejoice insofar as you share Christ’s sufferings, that you may also rejoice and be glad when his glory is revealed.” (1 Peter 4:13) “ …that I may know him and the power of his resurrection, and may share his sufferings, becoming like him in his death. (Philippians 3:10) “For it has been granted to you that for the sake of Christ you should not only believe in him but also suffer for his sake….” (Philippians 1:29) “Share in suffering as a good soldier of Christ Jesus.” (2 Timothy 2:3)
“Cross” Fit S-WOD (Spiritual Workout of the Day) – 16 Feb 21: Pray that God will guide you in the Spirit to serve as His ambassador in the lives of those around you He is calling.