A Daily Dose of Good News
Tuesday, January 12, 2021
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Good morning! It is January 12th and it’s time for our Daily Dose of Good News. Today, it’s a bit of a shout-out for Dr. Wally Taylor, who is leading a series of Adult Enrichment on Acts. We are going to read from Acts 22:2-16. For those of you who might like some context, you may know it is the fifth book of the New Testament, so right after the four Gospels. Acts is basically about the acts of the Apostles and how the church was formed. It’s the beginning of the theology for Christianity and we’re going to learn some more about that, in this reading. So, this portion is about Paul and in this he is talking to some people and he’s describing what happened to him. Paul, as you might remember originally, was very anti- Jesus Christ and his followers who were known to be following The Way. Paul (known at this point as Saul) persecuted them and he talks about what happened to him regarding that. So, here we go…
When they heard him addressing them in Hebrew, they became even more quiet.
Then he said:
“I am a Jew, born in Tarsus in Cilicia, but brought up in this city at the feet of Gamaliel, educated strictly according to our ancestral law, being zealous for God, just as all of you are today. I persecuted this Way up to the point of death by binding both men and women and putting them in prison, as the high priest and the whole council of elders can testify about me. From them I also received letters to the brothers in Damascus, and I went there in order to bind those who were there and to bring them back to Jerusalem for punishment.
(Paul Tells of His Conversion)
“While I was on my way and approaching Damascus, about noon a great light from heaven suddenly shone about me. I fell to the ground and heard a voice saying to me, ‘Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting me?’ I answered, ‘Who are you, Lord?’ Then he said to me, ‘I am Jesus of Nazareth whom you are persecuting.’ Now those who were with me saw the light but did not hear the voice of the one who was speaking to me. I asked, ‘What am I to do, Lord?’ The Lord said to me, ‘Get up and go to Damascus; there you will be told everything that has been assigned to you to do.’ Since I could not see because of the brightness of that light, those who were with me took my hand and led me to Damascus.
“A certain Ananias, who was a devout man according to the law and well spoken of by all the Jews living there, came to me; and standing beside me, he said, ‘Brother Saul, regain your sight!’ In that very hour I regained my sight and saw him. Then he said, ‘The God of our ancestors has chosen you to know his will, to see the Righteous One and to hear his own voice; for you will be his witness to all the world of what you have seen and heard. And now why do you delay? Get up, be baptized, and have your sins washed away, calling on his name.’
Here ends the reading.
This text is striking for many reasons. Paul was an enemy to Christians and was traveling to go persecute Christians. Right in the middle of his angst, anger, hatred and desire for violence against them, God intervened. As scared as Christians probably were at that time of Saul and of all the havoc he could wreak, and of all the ways he was persecuting them- God intervened. In an instant. In a moment. While he was on his way to do destruction, God thwarted that plan and changed it to God’s plan. Which was: go to Damascus, you’re already on your way, go to Damascus, and you’re going to bring my will to the world. You’re going to teach people about Christianity.
I think it’s a great teaching to hold onto and an example for us to remember, that God can change things in an instant. So, no matter how bleak our country might seem right now. No matter how bleak the world might seem right now. Remember that the God whom we love and worship is a God who can transform in an instant. That’s the kind of power our God has and that’s the kind of sovereignty Our God has over what occurs everywhere. So, I think it’s a great source of inspiration. And if you’re looking for more inspiration, I would also encourage you to attend the zoom class, Thursday nights at 7:30pm with Dr. Wally Taylor, who as you know, is an excellent teacher. He can teach you even more about Acts this month. So, enjoy the day everybody and enjoy holding on to a God who can change the scenery, in an instant. Bye-bye.