Acts 9:13-16 (CEB)
13Ananias countered, “Lord, I have heard many reports about this man. People say he has done horrible things to your holy people in Jerusalem. 14He’s here with authority from the chief priests to arrest everyone who calls on your name.”
15The Lord replied, “Go! This man is the agent I have chosen to carry my name before Gentiles, kings, and Israelites. 16I will show him how much he must suffer for the sake of my name.”
Ananias was freaking out—and for good reason. Saul was coming. This was in a time after Jesus was crucified, and the government officials were anxious to snuff out the spread of Christianity. Many who confessed Jesus as Lord and shared the news of his resurrection were hunted down and killed by bounty hunters like Saul. Ananias was undoubtedly high on his list. And now, God was telling Ananias to go downtown and greet Saul. Yeah, right! Walk right into Saul’s evil clutches? Ananias was understandably hesitant.
What Ananias didn’t know was that God was at work in Saul’s life. Saul’s heart was changing. He was beginning to know God. He was starting to allow Jesus to run his life. Saul had a terrible past, but with Jesus, a person can start over with a clean slate. And God was calling Ananias to help Saul in this time of conversion. He and some of Jesus’ other followers spent time with Saul, who was baptized, changed his name to Paul, and eventually wrote half the New Testament.
You know a Saul. You go to school with one. It’s a person who obviously doesn’t know Jesus. It’s a person who doesn’t have the best reputation, and may even be guilty of making fun of you and treating you poorly because you are a Christian and go to church. Talking to this person about your faith may not be something you’d be excited about. But we have to remember that God is at work in this person’s life, too. God may need your assistance. Will you be willing to overcome your fears and hesitancy and share you faith with this person when the opportunity presents itself?
If today’s devotion spoke to you in a particular way and you feel led to share your thoughts with others, please do so.