The passage below is taken from a longer section which records the conversion of Saul of Tarsus. Saul was a fanatical and brilliant pharisee with a passion for killing the followers of “The Way”. But what I am most interested in here, is not so much that Saul was converted by his encounter with the risen Lord Jesus on the road to Damascus, as the fact that he immediately understood the truth of Jesus’s identity and began preaching in the synagogues within days of his conversion, drawing upon his superb knowledge of scripture. I can’t help relating to Saul’s need to preach the truth about Jesus straight away after having understood it. As I look back at my own conversion which felt very sudden at the time, I can now see that in fact, I had been prepared sub-consciously for years. I spent much of my childhood immersed in the Anglican Church, singing in a number of Cathedrals. Along side this traditional exposure to the Gospel, I was heavily influenced by father’s strong Charismatic/Pentecostal faith. So when my own conversion came, although it seemed dramatic and sudden as it happened, I now see that I had been absorbing the truth about Jesus Christ for the whole of my life but had never fully realised its enormous and life changing significance.
Acts 9:17-22 NLT
So Ananias went and found Saul. He laid his hands on him and said, “Brother Saul, the Lord Jesus, who appeared to you on the road, has sent me so that you might regain your sight and be filled with the Holy Spirit.” Instantly something like scales fell from Saul’s eyes, and he regained his sight. Then he got up and was baptised. Afterward he ate some food and regained his strength. Saul stayed with the believers in Damascus for a few days. And immediately he began preaching about Jesus in the synagogues, saying, “He is indeed the Son of God!” All who heard him were amazed. “Isn’t this the same man who caused such devastation among Jesus’ followers in Jerusalem?” they asked. “And didn’t he come here to arrest them and take them in chains to the leading priests?” Saul’s preaching became more and more powerful, and the Jews in Damascus couldn’t refute his proofs that Jesus was indeed the Messiah.
Some say that new Christians should wait a while, until they have properly found their feet in their new faith, before sharing the good news with others. This is something I often worry about. However, I have recently come to the conclusion that this Daily Devotionals project is not so much a choice I have made, as a commission I have been given. And, in addition to that, I feel that I am very much in training in this project. I do hope these devotionals bring blessings to those who receive them, but I assure you, the blessing I receive each day as I do this, is truly wonderful! Saul (soon to be known as the Apostle Paul) knew that Jesus really was the Son of God and so he was moved by the Holy Spirit to proclaim it straight away. My Goal is the same, I simply want to share what I know is good and true with those who either don’t yet know, or with those who do know but are finding it hard to keep the faith, for whatever reason.
1 Kings 11:1-12:19, Acts 9:1-25, Psalms 131:1-3, Proverbs 17:4-5