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Posts Tagged ‘Apostle Paul’

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And I think I’ve had problems…

“Are they Hebrews? So am I. Are they Israelites? So am I. Are they the seed of Abraham? So am I.  Are they ministers of Christ?—I speak as a fool—I am more: in labors more abundant, in stripes above measure, in prisons more frequently, in deaths often.  From the Jews five times I received forty stripes minus one. Three times I was beaten with rods; once I was stoned; three times I was shipwrecked; a night and a day I have been in the deep;  in journeys often, in perils of waters, in perils of robbers, in perils of my own countrymen, in perils of the Gentiles, in perils in the city, in perils in the wilderness, in perils in the sea, in perils among false brethren;  in weariness and toil, in sleeplessness often, in hunger and thirst, in fastings often, in cold and nakedness— besides the other things, what comes upon me daily: my deep concern for all the churches.  Who is weak, and I am not weak? Who is made to stumble, and I do not burn with indignation?

 If I must boast, I will boast in the things which concern my infirmity.  The God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who is blessed forever, knows that I am not lying.  In Damascus the governor, under Aretas the king, was guarding the city of the Damascenes with a garrison, desiring to arrest me; but I was let down in a basket through a window in the wall, and escaped from his hands (2 Corinthians 11:22-33 NKJV).”

 

 

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A BRIGHT LIGHT

Ever been blindsided on a bind date?

In my teen PAM CROPPED 2013years, I had many dates that fell under the blind date category. Two or three of the boys I paired off with were what in my day were popularly labeled losers.

On the brighter side, I am in the blessed state of wedlock with my last blind date. We will celebrate our 50th Wedding Anniversary in three years.

Saul, in his blind date trauma trusted Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior, becoming the Apostle Paul. (Acts 9:1-18)

A bright heavenly light blinded his eyes. God sent a reluctant messenger to restore his sight. (Acts 9:10-18)

“Immediately there fell from his eyes something like scales, and he received his sight at once; and he arose and was baptized (Acts 9:18 NKJ).”

 

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CROPPED NOVEMBER 2012 PROFILE PICTURE

It is becoming the norm. A new ministry or business prepares to open its doors. The leader appoints a committee and gives them a great responsibility. They are to brainstorm, come up with a mission statement, and bring it back for final approval. Apostle Paul’s mission statement  wording would come  from scripture.

“I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me (Galatians 2:20 KJV).” Everything Paul did, every thought or action had Christ as priority and purpose.

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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.  

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