February 8, 2019
Acts 9:26-31 Good News Translation (GNT)
The Holy Spirit is the Agent of God’s goodness to bring change and peace into our lives and into the world. When we invite Christ to be the Lord of our lives and the Holy Spirit indwells our hearts, we are not the same, anymore. We are immediately changed inwardly; we inherit the Seed of the Kingdom of God. From that moment on, the Holy Spirit seeks to permeate our whole being; transform our outward person to make it consistent with our spiritually reborn inward person. That holy synchronicity of our spirit, body, and souls (mind, will, emotions) enables us to be powerful witnesses for the Kingdom of God. Our lives are the evidence of God’s good work for peace or wholeness.
When our lives take a strong personal change, it may be a challenge for others to keep up. They may doubt the sincerity of our new devotion to the work of the Spirit. What we leave behind may be a direct contradiction of what we say we are becoming. Such is the case with Saul. In spite of the disciples’ fear and suspicion, God’s goodness is evident in Saul. His old life as a Christian persecutor has been crucified. Barnabas, filled with the Spirit, is used by the Lord to position Saul to speak goodness into the lives of others and bring them into a greater measure of peace or wholeness with God.
Acts 9:26-31 Saul in Jerusalem
26 Saul went to Jerusalem and tried to join the disciples. But they would not believe that he was a disciple, and they were all afraid of him. 27 Then Barnabas came to his help and took him to the apostles. He explained to them how Saul had seen the Lord on the road and that the Lord had spoken to him. He also told them how boldly Saul had preached in the name of Jesus in Damascus. 28 And so Saul stayed with them and went all over Jerusalem, preaching boldly in the name of the Lord. 29 He also talked and disputed with the Greek-speaking Jews, but they tried to kill him. 30 When the believers found out about this, they took Saul to Caesarea and sent him away to Tarsus.
31 And so it was that the church throughout Judea, Galilee, and Samaria had a time of peace. Through the help of the Holy Spirit it was strengthened and grew in numbers, as it lived in reverence for the Lord.
Prayer: Lord, please help me to overcome any fear that endeavors to halt the work of your Spirit in multiplying your goodness in my life; I welcome the transformation the Spirit is sent to do. As well, please empower me to be an encourager to others so they may overcome fear and doubt and embrace transformation, as well. In Jesus’ name. Amen.