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Posts Tagged ‘Ananias’

Verses 13-19: “Then Ananias answered, “Lord, I have heard from many about this man, how much harm he has done to Your saints in Jerusalem. And here he has authority from the chief priests to bind all who call on Your name.” But the Lord said to him, “Go, for he is a chosen vessel of Mine to bear My name before Gentiles, kings, and the children of Israel. For I will show him how many things he must suffer for My name’s sake.” And Ananias went his way and entered the house; and laying his hands on him he said, “Brother Saul, the Lord Jesus, who appeared to you on the road as you came, has sent me that you may receive your sight and be filled with the Holy Spirit.” Immediately there fell from his eyes something like scales, and he received his sight at once; and he arose and was baptized. So when he had received food, he was strengthened. Then Saul spent some days with the disciples at Damascus.

When I was on a mission trip with the Carpenters for Christ to a town in Kansas, we were driving down the road one day and had to stop at a railroad crossing. A very long freight train was stopping and starting as it made its way through the railyard. What caught my attention was to hear the “rat-tat-tat-tat” rapid-fire halting of each car from right to left as the entire train stopped. Not sure what I had heard, I listened more closely; soon enough, the train started up again and the “rat-tat-tat-tat” sound was from each car jerking the car behind it into motion, again very quickly the sound travelling right to left. My father reminded me that this was how a train got all the cars going; it couldn’t pull all the cars at once to start moving; each car in succession would tug on the one behind it, as the engine moved forward, eventually getting all the cars to move together.

There was a footnote in my Holman Bible referring to how Saul didn’t receive all his “marching” instructions and duties at one time. First the Lord Jesus “got his attention” by appearing to him and blinding his sight. Then Jesus had Ananias come to him; laying his hands on him, he was used by God to restore his sight and bless him with the Holy Spirit. Now Paul was saved in Christ. Next he physically recovered through nourishment, strengthening, and fellowshipping with the Damascus disciples. Up next, he himself would begin preaching Jesus in the synagogues. Just like that long train, one thing had to move before the next thing was in motion. That Bible footnote made note of the fact that Saul would’ve been overwhelmed by what Jesus had in store for Him, had he heard it all at one time.

I was assigned to a very good business manager and mentor in my early years in the IT industry. Before he turned me loose to be on the rotation for the oncall contact list (which is how Operations would contact help support during the nighttime batch jobstream updates, in case there was a problem), he had me accompany him, in person, when it came to fixing issues. He would review with me how to diagnose the problem, what the solution was, and how to implement the fix. I made notes of all this in a “crash log” which would help me remember how to fix things. Finally, he told me, “you’re ready.” Even on my first solo oncall, he assured me I could call him to verify my diagnosis and solution if I was contacted by Operations. This gave me great confidence and assurance that I wasn’t being “thrown to the wolves”; that I was being prepared for my work.

Jesus was doing the same thing in preparing Saul.

Something to think about today.

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Verse 4: “While it remained, was it not your own? And after it was sold, was it not in your own control? Why have you conceived this thing in your heart? You have not lied to men but to God.”

Stress can do funny things. And I don’t mean funny ha-ha. You can tell folks that you are fine…you can appear healthy and in good spirits…but if you don’t handle negative stress in a healthy manner, it can wreak havoc with your internal physical, mental, and emotional health. You can fool some people; you might even be able to fool your family and your doctor (to a degree), but physical exams will be the tell-tale signs. You can’t fool your own body and well-being from the adverse effects of negative stress.

Peter was telling Ananias this much. He and his wife Sapphira had sold some property and were presenting the proceeds to the church, much like many believers were doing. He told Peter that these were all the proceeds from the sale; he thought he was fooling everyone (because he hung onto part of the money). But Peter, tipped off by God, confronted him. In his rebuke, he reminded Ananias: “You have not lied to men but to God”. He was reminding him that God is not fooled; He is omniscient. The penalty for their act was their very lives as they died instantly.

Jesus paid the cost for our sins on the cross. We still sin today, so the proper response, even as born-again Christians, is to confess and to repent of the sins. Tis better to confess a sin, then lie and have committed two sins. Remember, God is not fooled.

Something to think about today.

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