Today’s reading: Acts 8:26-10:22
My selection: Acts 9:22-23
But Saul increased all the more in strength, and confounded the Jews who lived in Damascus by proving that Jesus was the Christ. 23 When many days had passed, the Jews plotted to kill him, 24 but their plot became known to Saul.
My reflections: Two developments grab my attention here.
1. Saul’s very rapid emergence as a powerful voice for Jesus Christ. He was strengthened and he confounded the Jews in Damascus as he proved that Jesus was the Messiah, the Christ. His conversion was a complete about-face and his early growth as a Christian and a preacher was stunning. The energy and boldness he had once used against the Church, he now used for his Lord and the gospel.
2. The Jews chronic knee-jerk reaction to seek to kill whoever opposed them in the name of Christ. When they crucified Jesus, the Church was born and testified to the resurrection. When they stoned Stephen, the Church was dispersed and grew. Now they set their sights on the latest target, Saul. They inadvertently contributed to the growth of the gospel whenever they attempted to defeat it.
My challenge: Few, if any, match Saul (aka Paul) for world wide impact for the gospel, and we should praise God for His powerful work in that great missionary and church planter. Ask God to use you, as well, for His purposes to continue to proclaim that Jesus is the Christ to your generation. Do not be disheartened by opposition, as it is a sign that your message is effective. Know that God will bless you when you suffer persecution and opposition. May you also experience the law of unintended benefits.
Tomorrow’s reading; Acts 10:23-13:3