Bible Studies, Christian Growth

Ananias’ Assignment

Ananias, available and alert, he arose and acted. God could have used any means to minister to Saul, following his Damascus Road blinding encounter. He might have appointed an angel. Barnabas would seem a good candidate. Soon, Saul would become Paul, and Barnabas would be his co-laborer in carrying the gospel. God would bring that to pass. First, He would entrust the care of Saul into the hands of Ananias.

The Lord spoke to Ananias in a vision. He knew that he was available for service, always at His beckoned call. He was present and accounted for. “Now in Damascus there was a disciple named Ananias. And the Lord said to him in a vision, ‘Ananias (Acts 9:10a HCS)!” Just as a student, answering roll call, “Here I am, Lord!’ he said (Acts 9:10b HCS). Ananias, available and alert!

The Lord had his attention and gave him detailed, specific instructions, telling him where to go, what to ask, who to see, and what to do. (Verses 11-12) He was to go to Saul, lay hands on him in order that he would regain his sight. Ananias undoubtedly trusted the LORD’s guidance; yet, he also trusted him enough to share his doubts. (Verses 13-14) Saul had persecuted the church. He came to arrest those who called on Christ’s name. Ananias heard an affirmation from the Almighty.

“But the Lord said to him, ‘Go! For this man is My chosen instrument to carry My name before Gentiles, kings, and the sons of Israel. I will certainly show him how much he must suffer for my sake (Acts 9:15-16 HCS)!” Ananias, available and alert, arose and acted. “So Ananias left and entered the house. Then he placed his hands on him and said, ‘Brother Saul, the Lord Jesus, who appeared to you on the road you were traveling, has sent me so you may regain your sight and be filled with the Holy Spirit (Acts 9:17 HCS).” Saul met the Savior. Ananias acted on God’s word.  

Christian Growth, Devotionals

Persistence Pays

“I’ll say this much for him; he’s persistent!” At times, all of us are simply not suited for a task. Yet, with persistence, we not only finish what we start, but we do it well. I’m more likely to give in to discouragement, give way to feelings of inadequacy, and give Satan the accuser, the upper hand. He knows discouragement is detrimental to my spiritual health. I have no valid reason for lack of persistence in resistance. The devil is persistent in his spiritual attacks; I must resist him!

“So give yourselves humbly to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you (James 4:7 Living Bible).”  Persist and resist! “Be careful-watch out for attacks from Satan, your great enemy. He prowls around like a hungry, roaring lion, looking for some victim to tear apart. Stand firm when he attacks (2 Peter 5:8-9a Living Bible).” Resist and keep resisting! “So use every piece of God’s armor to resist the enemy whenever he attacks, and when it is over, you will still be standing up (Ephesians 6:13 Living Bible).” Don’t give up; don’t give in! Persistence pays high dividends!

Christian Growth, Devotionals

Manifest Life and Mercy

Who, me? Used by God, us? Reveal his power? Through what?

“But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellency of the power may be of God, and not of us. We are troubled on every side, yet not distressed; we are perplexed, but not in despair; Persecuted, but not forsaken; cast down, but not destroyed; Always bearing about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our body (2 Corinthians 4:7-10 KJV).”

It is a matter of life and death! We share a message of Christ death, burial and resurrection. We die to sin, to walk in newness of life through Jesus. The Potter has a work for us to do. Will we manifest life and mercy for the Master?

Christian Growth, Devotionals

Defend the Truth

It is admirable to stand up for what you believe. Those who are gullible, fall for anything, and easily fall into heresy. Yet, even those who are living a life firmly founded on faith need to keep an open mind. Defend the truth, allow the Holy Spirit to reveal error. Take a lesson from the Jews of Berea.

“The Jews there were better disposed than those in Thessalonica, for they welcomed the message with all eagerness and carried on a daily study of the Scriptures to see if Paul’s message was true. Many of them came to believe, and not a few distinguished Greek women and men (Acts 17:11-12 Williams New Testament).” Search the scriptures and believe!