God Knows…When I Wonder if I can Change – Part 2
A Believer named Ananias lived in Damascus. One day God gave him some scary instructions. “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.” The Lord must have made a mistake, thought Ananias, “Lord, I have heard from many about this man, how much harm he has done to Your saints in Jerusalem. Now he’s here to do the same thing!” But the Lord doesn’t make mistakes. “Go,” He said, “for I have chosen Saul to carry my name before the Gentiles and Kings and the sons of Israel."
Ananias obeyed. His first words when he found Saul were “Brother Saul.” What an example of Christian love as he greeted the man who had come from Jerusalem to kill him! “The Lord Jesus…has sent me that you may receive your sight and be filled with the Holy Spirit,” said Ananias, laying his hands on Saul’s head. Immediately Saul could see again.
Soon Saul was a baptized Believer, preaching in Damascus! And he was every bit as bold on the side of Christ as he had been when fighting against Him. Listeners were amazed as they heard him explain how the prophecies recorded in the Old Testament had come true in the life of Jesus.
Saul’s one-time friends who opposed Christ decided to kill him. One dark night the disciples took Saul to one of the houses on the city wall. There Saul climbed into a big basket with a rope tied to it. Slowly they lowered him out a window and down to the ground.
Where did Saul head after he escaped? Right to where the action was—Jerusalem. He tried to contact the disciples. But they steered clear, believing Saul’s conversion could have been a carefully laid trap. Finally a man named Barnabas stood up for Saul and told of his bold preaching at Damascus in the name of Jesus. Barnabas didn’t hold Saul’s past against him.
Saul also went to his former friends to share the truth of Jesus. He thought they were as sincere as he had been, and would welcome truth. But he was sadly mistaken. They tried to kill him. Saul was willing to stay in Jerusalem at the risk of his life, if he could help convince someone of the truth. But God told him, “Make haste and get out of Jerusalem quickly, for they will not receive your testimony concerning Me.”
So the disciples put Saul on a boat and sent him to visit Tarsus. Back in his hometown, he would have opportunity to tell his friends and family that he was a changed man and that it was Jesus Christ who changed him.
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