Acts 9:10-21 The Message (MSG)
Lately, it seems like every time I read an article or listen to the news I am exposed to some kind of argument that involves verbal assassinations. Whatever happened to the art of persuasion using evidence and facts? Scripture teaches one day every human being will stand before Christ—the Living Word—and give an account for the words we have chosen to use. I am reminded Jesus told those abusing their power through words, ”Every one of these careless words is going to come back to haunt you. There will be a time of Reckoning. Words are powerful; take them seriously. Words can be your salvation. Words can also be your damnation” (Matt 12:38).
Yesterday, we read about how Saul had gotten on the wrong side of God’s plan; his flesh was actually working against the Lord. So, God got his attention. Well, today we are going to read about a man named Ananias. It is a part of God’s plan to use Ananias to bring salvation and healing to Saul. Does Ananias want to help Saul? Does he think it is a good idea to go near Saul who has been such a threat? Nope! But, he chooses not to argue with the Lord. Because Ananias goes and fulfills God’s plan, Saul is filled with the Spirit and begins to share about Jesus Messiah. Does he engage in verbal assassinations to get his message out to those who oppose him? No. He employs the art of persuasion using evidence and facts. As a result, people listen and respond to the Truth. Pray and ask God to help you take your words seriously.
10 There was a disciple in Damascus by the name of Ananias. The Master spoke to him in a vision: “Ananias.”
“Yes, Master?” he answered.
11-12 “Get up and go over to Straight Avenue. Ask at the house of Judas for a man from Tarsus. His name is Saul. He’s there praying. He has just had a dream in which he saw a man named Ananias enter the house and lay hands on him so he could see again.”
13-14 Ananias protested, “Master, you can’t be serious. Everybody’s talking about this man and the terrible things he’s been doing, his reign of terror against your people in Jerusalem! And now he’s shown up here with papers from the Chief Priest that give him license to do the same to us.”
15-16 But the Master said, “Don’t argue. Go! I have picked him as my personal representative to non-Jews and kings and Jews. And now I’m about to show him what he’s in for—the hard suffering that goes with this job.”
Prayer: Lord, please help me take my words seriously; help me be a loving and persuasive influencer for your Kingdom. In Jesus’ name. Amen.