Passage of the Day: Acts 9: 10 – 19 … 10 Now there was a certain disciple at Damascus named Ananias; and to him the Lord said in a vision, “Ananias.” And he said, “Here I am, Lord.” 11 So the Lord said to him, “Arise and go to the street called Straight, and inquire at the house of Judas for one called Saul of Tarsus, for behold, he is praying. 12 And in a vision he has seen a man named Ananias coming in and putting his hand on him, so that he might receive his sight.” 13 Then Ananias answered, “Lord, I have heard from many about this man, how much harm he has done to Your saints in Jerusalem. 14 And here he has authority from the chief priests to bind all who call on Your name.” 15 But the Lord said to him, “Go, for he is a chosen vessel of Mine to bear My name before Gentiles, kings, and the children of Israel. 16 For I will show him how many things he must suffer for My name’s sake.” 17 And Ananias went his way and entered the house; and laying his hands on him he said, “Brother Saul, the Lord Jesus, who appeared to you on the road as you came, has sent me that you may receive your sight and be filled with the Holy Spirit.” 18 Immediately there fell from his eyes something like scales, and he received his sight at once; and he arose and was baptized. 19 So when he had received food, he was strengthened. Then Saul spent some days with the disciples at Damascus.
My Journal for Today: Don’t you just love the message of metamorphosis in the life of the Apostle Paul, being transformed by God’s grace from a murderous marauder to a zealot for the Gospel. Oh how I identify with this message of hope, having been a Saul of Tarsus in my life and having been raised from the ashes of sinful living to become an Ordained messenger of the Gospel in my own life time.
I hope that any who are reading this are not imprisoned by the lies of shame and blame the enemy would love to see us carrying around from anything in our past. The message of God’s saving grace is so simple and complete. It is actually found in that great victory chapter of Romans 8, where in verse 1, God had him write, “There is no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.” Do you believe that, my friend? Do you live with that truth in your heart? I hope so; because if you do and you’ve forgiven yourself for anything in your past, just as has God if you are saved, then you can become, as I am, a poster child for another of God’s great truths from the Apostle Paul, … that one from 2nd Cor. 5: 17.
My friend, take in one of the greatest truths in all of the Bible, "… if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.” … Now, dear one, meditate on that one for a moment. Think on the reality and hope embedded in that message.
You know, it is said that Ted Bundy, the infamous serial killer, came to Christ a short time before he was executed for his murderous life. Remember that Jesus told the one thief on the cross that his repentance and acknowledgement of Christ as the Son of God would mean that this thief is now with Christ in heaven. So, if God can save a Saul of Tarsus, or the thief on the cross, or even a Ten Bundy, our God can save and forgive ANYONE; and that includes Bill Berry … or you. My dear friend, if God can forgive and save a Bill Berry, His grace and mercy can – and has – saved you from any sin in your past.
We simply have to allow Him to forgive us; and then we have forgive ourselves; and, in the hope of Christ, we are and remain saved from any sin … sins past, sins present, and yes, even sins in the future.
What a glorious hope we have in our Savior, Jesus.
Let it go, my friend. If you have anything in your past which has you shackled by your own shame, let it go! If you are in Christ, dear one, and you have confessed this past to your Lord and Savior, in the words of Christ Himself from the cross, “It is finished!” You are now cleansed FOREVER; and you can walk from this day forth as the new creation in Christ you are.
My Prayer for Today: Lord, I pray that all who are in You accept the truth and reality of Your saving grace and live as You have cleansed us … forevermore. Amen
A Pastor’s PS: If you’d like to meditate on the truths in this journal entry for today, click on this link and you can see a music video of the wonderful song sung by Casting Crowns, … East to West. I hope you’ll take this in. It’s well worth the few minutes you’ll take to do it. … <’BB><