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Posts Tagged ‘Lord’

Verses 37-40: “For you have brought these men here who are neither robbers of temples nor blasphemers of your goddess. Therefore, if Demetrius and his fellow craftsmen have a case against anyone, the courts are open and there are proconsuls. Let them bring charges against one another. But if you have any other inquiry to make, it shall be determined in the lawful assembly. For we are in danger of being called in question for today’s uproar, there being no reason which we may give to account for this disorderly gathering.””

I heard the story told of an elderly Christian woman who lived alone. She didn’t have much money; she lived humbly. Every day she would go out on her front porch and thank God for what she had, thank Him for His provision, and give her prayer requests to Him. This annoyed her next-door neighbor, an atheist, who always vocally jeered her prayers and her faith. One day, the atheist sought to “teach a lesson” to the old Christian lady. He overheard her asking God for food to eat for the week, so the atheist went to the grocery store, bought 2 big sacks’ worth of groceries, hurried home, and placed them at her front door on the porch. Then he hid in the bushes and waited. Sure enough, when she opened the door and saw the groceries, she raised her hands and thanked God. Jumping out from his hiding place, he shouted, “Aha, old woman! Your God didn’t provide those groceries; I bought them myself and delivered them. What do you say to that?” Once the old woman realized what the atheist had said, she smiled, raised her hands to Heaven and said, “Thank you Lord! Not only did you provide me the groceries, you had the devil deliver them to me, as well!”

God is in control. The city clerk of Ephesus, probably a high-ranking official in the city, finally calmed down the crowd. He matter-of-factly informed them that Paul and his fellow Christians had broken no laws; if they had, take them to court! That’s what the courts and proconsuls do! He further warned the crowd that if they wanted to pursue any charges or inquiry against Paul, do so in the legal assembly. Why? Because the near-riot was sure to attract the attention of the Roman Empire for violating Roman law! (And the city of Ephesus didn’t want that kind of attention!) At which point, everyone went home.

Two things jump out at me here; the city clerk probably wasn’t defending Paul and the Christians; he just wanted civil order to be restored. Also, it proves again that God can work for good in all situations. The unlikely hero here was an administrative official. The world might say, “coincidence”. I like to say “God-incidence”!

Have a blessed day in the Lord!

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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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