Saturday, November 13, 2010

Acts 9

I often wonder how did  Paul first approach those believers after the destruction he had pursued.  How many tears and apologies, how much grace would he have received from the grieving families, how much he would have to give to those who weren't quite ready to forgive?  And still, he was known by his actions.  The echo of 'faith without works is dead' ringing in my ears.  Saul's actions and Paul's actions testify to his reputation which was a picture of what he believed. 

One thing that strikes me not in this passage is what did Saul do with the dangerous letters he carried?  He was traveling, had a Jesus-interrupt and restarted on a different track. Suddenly, his assignment and his authority shifted from temple-authority to Divine-authority.  So his permission slips end up being contraband.   Did he destroy them?  Did he give them to Judas?  Ananias?  I know the means of getting rid of them don't matter and where they ended up isn't important either; but I wonder when did he lay down that link to his new past?  And Ananias greets Saul as "Brother Saul" when "Mr. Saul" probably would have sufficed; he assumed the best about Saul and didn't hedge with the welcoming term.  Ananias discarded his prejudice and fear somewhere between God's orders and his obedience. 

So, I am challenged to examine myself and make sure I am not only cutting the ties with the old life; but I am properly and promptly disposing of the spiritually bio-hazardous materials and reactions.  Thank You, Jesus, for Your interrupts in my life.  Holy Spirit, please help me to graciously obey Your direction and to dump the spiritually-toxic matter from my life and thoughts.  I give You permission to do what You please with me.  Your way is right and I can do all the things You have for me to do by Your strength.  Thank You for caring about me.

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