Daily Reading: 6-2-16
Acts 22:6-21 New Living Translations (NLT)
Humans were created to love and serve God—the Light of the World—through choice (remember the Tree of Life and the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil). The darkness of sin came through a poor personal choice (it still does). Humanity rejected receiving the Light and Truth of God’s Love and instead chose human effort or power. Apart from a relationship with God through the Spirit of Love who Lights our path, we can get way off course in how we perceive the goodness of God extended to humanity, as well as how we treat people.
The Apostle Paul served God’s Law as devout as anyone; tenacious for the Law to be fulfilled. He thought that success make him a light to others as he served God. However, in his choice to make the keeping of rules his focus he actually ventured into darkness; he mistreated and abused people rather than love them toward God. The Light of God showed up to help Paul turn toward the Truth of authentic Love:
6 “As I was on the road, approaching Damascus about noon, a very bright light from heaven suddenly shone down around me. 7 I fell to the ground and heard a voice saying to me, ‘Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting me?’
8 “‘Who are you, lord?’ I asked.
“And the voice replied, ‘I am Jesus the Nazarene,[a] the one you are persecuting.’ 9 The people with me saw the light but didn’t understand the voice speaking to me.
10 “I asked, ‘What should I do, Lord?’
“And the Lord told me, ‘Get up and go into Damascus, and there you will be told everything you are to do.’
11 “I was blinded by the intense light and had to be led by the hand to Damascus by my companions. 12 A man named Ananias lived there. He was a godly man, deeply devoted to the law, and well regarded by all the Jews of Damascus. 13 He came and stood beside me and said, ‘Brother Saul, regain your sight.’ And that very moment I could see him!
14 “Then he told me, ‘The God of our ancestors has chosen you to know his will and to see the Righteous One and hear him speak. 15 For you are to be his witness, telling everyone what you have seen and heard. 16 What are you waiting for? Get up and be baptized. Have your sins washed away by calling on the name of the Lord.’
17 “After I returned to Jerusalem, I was praying in the Temple and fell into a trance. 18 I saw a vision of Jesus[b] saying to me, ‘Hurry! Leave Jerusalem, for the people here won’t accept your testimony about me.’
19 “‘But Lord,’ I argued, ‘they certainly know that in every synagogue I imprisoned and beat those who believed in you. 20 And I was in complete agreement when your witness Stephen was killed. I stood by and kept the coats they took off when they stoned him.’
21 “But the Lord said to me, ‘Go, for I will send you far away to the Gentiles!’”
Love must be our focus; our compass. Jesus is the Love of God in human form and He fulfills the Law. God wants a relationship built on Love not Law. We need to invite the Savior who is Love to open our spiritual eyes. If we truly love God we will desire to live the way He created us to live. Jesus taught His followers that Love was the greatest command/Law, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind; and Love your neighbor as yourself.”
Prayer: Heavenly Father, I love You. Lord, open my eyes, today, to see the beauty of Your love for all people. Holy Spirit, fill me with the right kind of love that fulfills the Law and then cause me to release it to the people around me. In Jesus’ name. Amen.