photo credit: muhammad_elarbi <a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/132357290@N05/24877953329″>The Fiery Dragon</a> via <a href=”http://photopin.com”>photopin</a> <a href=”https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/2.0/”>(license)</a>
Though not a fire breathing dragon, he was once as deadly…
“And Saul, yet breathing out threatenings and slaughter against the disciples of the Lord, went unto the high priest,
And desired of him letters to Damascus to the synagogues, that if he found any of this way, whether they were men or women, he might bring them bound unto Jerusalem (Acts 9:1-2 KJV).”
Saul (Apostle Paul) He received the transforming breath of the Holy Spirit.
“And as he journeyed, he came near Damascus: and suddenly there shined round about him a light from heaven:
And he fell to the earth, and heard a voice saying unto him, Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou me?
And he said, Who art thou, Lord? And the Lord said, I am Jesus whom thou persecutest: it is hard for thee to kick against the pricks.
And he trembling and astonished said, Lord, what wilt thou have me to do? And the Lord said unto him, Arise, and go into the city, and it shall be told thee what thou must do.
And the men which journeyed with him stood speechless, hearing a voice, but seeing no man.
And Saul arose from the earth; and when his eyes were opened, he saw no man: but they led him by the hand, and brought him into Damascus.
And he was three days without sight, and neither did eat nor drink.
And there was a certain disciple at Damascus, named Ananias; and to him said the Lord in a vision, Ananias. And he said, Behold, I am here, Lord.
And the Lord said unto him, Arise, and go into the street which is called Straight, and enquire in the house of Judas for one called Saul, of Tarsus: for, behold, he prayeth,
And hath seen in a vision a man named Ananias coming in, and putting his hand on him, that he might receive his sight.
Then Ananias answered, Lord, I have heard by many of this man, how much evil he hath done to thy saints at Jerusalem:
And here he hath authority from the chief priests to bind all that call on thy name.
But the Lord said unto him, Go thy way: for he is a chosen vessel unto me, to bear my name before the Gentiles, and kings, and the children of Israel:
For I will shew him how great things he must suffer for my name’s sake.
And Ananias went his way, and entered into the house; and putting his hands on him said, Brother Saul, the Lord, even Jesus, that appeared unto thee in the way as thou camest, hath sent me, that thou mightest receive thy sight, and be filled with the Holy Ghost.
And immediately there fell from his eyes as it had been scales: and he received sight forthwith, and arose, and was baptized.
And when he had received meat, he was strengthened. Then was Saul certain days with the disciples which were at Damascus.
And straightway he preached Christ in the synagogues, that he is the Son of God.
But all that heard him were amazed, and said; Is not this he that destroyed them which called on this name in Jerusalem, and came hither for that intent, that he might bring them bound unto the chief priests?
But Saul increased the more in strength, and confounded the Jews which dwelt at Damascus, proving that this is very Christ (Acts 9:3-22 KJV).”
Posted, Keep Out
Get the picture?
Someone posted signs at the boundaries to their property. They serve as clear warnings.
“We have redemption in Him through His blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of His grace (Ephesians 1:7 HCSB).”
I had been guilty of trespassing, I crossed the clear boundaries given by the Father. I am forgiven through the manifold riches of His grace.
“As far as the east is from the west,
so far has He removed
our transgressions from us (Psalm 103:12 HCSB).”
Heading toward heaven?
Look for the Welcome sign!
I cannot comprehend why some children fight baths or showers with the tenacity of a snapping turtle. My times soaking in either a tub or being drenched during a shower are times to relax tense muscles, unwind after stressful situations or feel energized for the day ahead. Washing my hair is the closing act. I apply a generous amount of fragrant shampoo, work it to lather and rinse the suds away until my hair is squeaky clean.
I’m clueless as to who coined the phrase squeaky clean but it appropriately describes how God has washed away my sins. “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness (1 John 1:9 NAS).” He removes guilt stains from my conscience, wraps me in a robe of righteousness and holds me securely giving everlasting life. I may begin a daily routine of singing praises in the shower!
Recently I discovered I was a day late on paying our electric bill, like a flash across my mind I wondered if we neglected to take the check to the local office. I had given the payment to my husband Norm as he was running errands one day a week or two earlier. He simply forgot to drop it off.
He handed it back to me and I dropped it in my purse, which we both know is akin to the black hole in the universe. I thumbed through the contents and found it hiding in the midst of necessities and a collection of crumpled checkout store receipts. There was a grace period before cut-off of power but I had to pay a small penalty for my tardiness.
I never cease to be amazed at God’s amazing grace. There is no grace period; there is grace…. Period! I cannot earn my salvation, nor can I lose it. Christ purchased it; He ransomed me. I owe everything to God’s gift of grace. “For by grace you have been saved through faith; and this is not your own doing, it is the gift of God-not because of works, lest any man should boast (Ephesians 2:8-9 RSV).” I urge you, please do not neglect to receive His grace.