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Road to Destruction or Devine Destiny?

By Kathy Gorski
 
March 2, 2010

Scripture Verses
Acts 8:1, 9:1-18

Acts 8:1
1And Saul was there, giving approval to his death. On that day a great persecution broke out against the church at Jerusalem, and all except the apostles were scattered throughout Judea and Samaria

Acts 9:1-18
 1Meanwhile, Saul was still breathing out murderous threats against the Lord's disciples. He went to the high priest 2and asked him for letters to the synagogues in Damascus, so that if he found any there who belonged to the Way, whether men or women, he might take them as prisoners to Jerusalem. 3As he neared Damascus on his journey, suddenly a light from heaven flashed around him. 4He fell to the ground and heard a voice say to him, "Saul, Saul, why do you persecute me?"

 5"Who are you, Lord?" Saul asked.

   "I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting," he replied. 6"Now get up and go into the city, and you will be told what you must do."

 7The men traveling with Saul stood there speechless; they heard the sound but did not see anyone. 8Saul got up from the ground, but when he opened his eyes he could see nothing. So they led him by the hand into Damascus. 9For three days he was blind, and did not eat or drink anything.

 10In Damascus there was a disciple named Ananias. The Lord called to him in a vision, "Ananias!"
      "Yes, Lord," he answered.

 11The Lord told him, "Go to the house of Judas on Straight Street and ask for a man from Tarsus named Saul, for he is praying. 12In a vision he has seen a man named Ananias come and place his hands on him to restore his sight."

 13"Lord," Ananias answered, "I have heard many reports about this man and all the harm he has done to your saints in Jerusalem. 14And he has come here with authority from the chief priests to arrest all who call on your name."

 15But the Lord said to Ananias, "Go! This man is my chosen instrument to carry my name before the Gentiles and their kings and before the people of Israel. 16I will show him how much he must suffer for my name."

 17Then Ananias went to the house and entered it. Placing his hands on Saul, he said, "Brother Saul, the Lord—Jesus, who appeared to you on the road as you were coming here—has sent me so that you may see again and be filled with the Holy Spirit." 18Immediately, something like scales fell from Saul's eyes, and he could see again. He got up and was baptized,


Devotion
Focused and determined, Saul had a well thought out plan to oppress and destroy all Christians and prevent the spread of Christianity.  His reputation for persecuting Christians was feared through the region: and that was before TV, texting, and tweeting.

As Saul and his followers travel on the road to Damascus to fulfill their evil mission, Saul becomes suddenly grounded by a heavenly light and hears his name being called.  This dramatic encounter brings him face-to-face with Jesus Christ. Saul’s journey, intent on destruction, takes an immediate U-turn for divine destiny.

Jesus used Ananias; an obedient, though apprehensive Christian believer, to share the transforming power of the unconditional love of Christ.  This miraculous conversion, from a tyrannical persecutor of Christians to a preacher for Christ, can only be explained by the dynamic indwelling presence of the Holy Spirit within him.

Saul of Tarsus then became known as Paul, a tireless dedicated crusader passionate for the cause of Jesus Christ.  His divine destiny was to bring others into a relationship with the Living Lord and to live on into eternity with Him.

Questions to ask yourself:

Where do I see myself on my own road of life?

If I am on a destructive path, do I know the right direction to take?  Do I ignore the warning signs with the option(s) I have chosen?

Have I been the Christian follower who has been obedient to His Leading?  Have I turned to a brother or sister in Christ to reach someone who is lost or misguided?

When do I give my whole trust to the Lord and follow His leading; despite fear and uncertainty?

What detours do I take that prevent me from giving my heart to Jesus?  Do I allow the power of the Holy Spirit to change my direction and be transformed for his purpose of divine destiny?

Prayer
Come, Holy Spirit, Come into my heart and be the driving force in my life.  In the precious name of Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior, Amen.