Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Having a Damascus road experience

There is a growing need for many to turn their hearts to Christ. Our government officials, bosses at work, co-workers,family members, friends, and the world in general desperately needs a Damascus road experience. How can this happen in our day and hour? How can the gospel reach the world's richest and the world's poorest? What about those living in areas of the world where the gospel is outlawed? How can the people of those regions hear the message of Christ? My heart is burdened this morning for the lost and for the world. I am crying out to the Father for them even now , and I believe we all should as believers. Holy Spirit can do anything. These unreached areas can see a Damascus road intervention if we simply pray and have the faith that moves the mountains.

Acts 9:1-2  Saul kept threatening to murder the Lord's disciples. He went to the chief priest  (2)  and asked him to write letters of authorization to the synagogue leaders in the city of Damascus. Saul wanted to arrest any man or woman who followed the way of Christ and imprison them in Jerusalem.

Paul or Saul at the time hated the disciples of Jesus. He believed they posed a threat to his present day theology. These messiah followers were causing havoc with their Jesus talk. When thousands of people are leaving your faith to follow another something has to be wrong. Understand that it was not an easy task to become a Christian. If a person came to Christ, they were giving up their present identity with the Jewish Synagogue. They were giving up the family worshiping of idols, and were threaten to be ostracized from their families as a whole. However, thousands were coming to Christ no matter the cost. A revolution was taking place, and the flames of freedom were not dying down. Paul saw this as a major threat and was going to stop it with every fiber in his being. He was known throughout the region as the hater of Christ and his followers, but that was about to change. While on the rugged road to Damascus, Paul has an enlightening experience. His life would be forever more changed.

Acts 9:3-9  As Saul was coming near the city of Damascus, a light from heaven suddenly flashed around him.  (4)  He fell to the ground and heard a voice say to him, "Saul! Saul! Why are you persecuting me?"  (5)  Saul asked, "Who are you, sir?" The person replied, "I'm Jesus, the one you're persecuting.  (6)  Get up! Go into the city, and you'll be told what you should do."  (7)  Meanwhile, the men traveling with him were speechless. They heard the voice but didn't see anyone.  (8)  Saul was helped up from the ground. When he opened his eyes, he was blind. So his companions led him into Damascus.  (9)  For three days he couldn't see and didn't eat or drink.

Paul had a Jesus experience that much of the world needs today. Holy Spirit is convicting hearts. He is doing His part and purpose. As believers, what part are we doing? Paul was blinded by the light of Christ and brought down a couple of notches. He was brought to the true path of hope. He believed he was in the right but soon found out different. Paul goes on to become one of the world's greatest Missionaries/Apostles. His work, through Christ, paved the way for you and I to become a part of this great faith known as Christianity.

Christ is moving all across this world and is calling hearts to Him. He needs you and I to be his hands, feet, lips, and voice to the nations. Will we be an Ananias to the worse of converts? Will we bring the message to the empty hearted? What about the people in our families, jobs,and governments?  Will we believe God for a Damascus Road Experience for them? Are we willing to step in and make a difference? It is our calling. It is our destiny.We can't sit around in our nice coffee shops and talk about the Father's love but never show it. We can't just go to our Christian conferences and get spiritually fat and never pour out to the lost. If we do then our faith is shallow and meaningless.

Acts 9:10-22  A disciple named Ananias lived in the city of Damascus. The Lord said to him in a vision, "Ananias!" Ananias answered, "Yes, Lord."  (11)  The Lord told him, "Get up! Go to Judas' house on Straight Street, and ask for a man named Saul from the city of Tarsus. He's praying.  (12)  In a vision he has seen a man named Ananias place his hands on him to restore his sight."  (13)  Ananias replied, "Lord, I've heard a lot of people tell about the many evil things this man has done to your people in Jerusalem.  (14)  Saul has come here to Damascus with authority from the chief priests to put anyone who calls on your name in prison."  (15)  The Lord told Ananias, "Go! I've chosen this man to bring my name to nations, to kings, and to the people of Israel.  (16)  I'll show him how much he has to suffer for the sake of my name."  (17)  Ananias left and entered Judas' house. After he placed his hands on Saul, Ananias said, "Brother Saul, the Lord Jesus, who appeared to you on your way to Damascus, sent me to you. He wants you to see again and to be filled with the Holy Spirit."  (18)  Immediately, something like fish scales fell from Saul's eyes, and he could see again. Then Saul stood up and was baptized.  (19)  After he had something to eat, his strength came back to him. Saul was with the disciples in the city of Damascus for several days.  (20)  He immediately began to spread the word in their synagogues that Jesus was the Son of God.  (21)  Everyone who heard him was amazed. They asked, "Isn't this the man who destroyed those who worshiped the one named Jesus in Jerusalem? Didn't he come here to take these worshipers as prisoners to the chief priests in Jerusalem?"  (22)  Saul grew more powerful, and he confused the Jews living in Damascus by proving that Jesus was the Messiah.

Ananias was afraid to minister to Paul, but Ananias had something that most Christians don't have today. OBEDIENCE! He was obedient to the voice of God because of his relationship with Christ. He knew Jesus and Jesus knew him. If it was not for Ananias there would have never been a Paul who would reach the nations. We all have a purpose in the body of Christ. Ananias' sacrifice changed the course of history for all mankind. Do you believe that your actions can do the same? Do you believe that your actions are just as important enough to change the course of history? I believe so. I believe our actions good or bad can change the interactions of human existence. Sit back and do nothing then history takes a drastic detour. Stand up and wave into the streams of godly intervention and history could be changed for the better. I am foolish enough to believe that my life can make a difference. I am foolish enough to believe that life is not all about MEEEEEEEEEE! The world you live in needs you. It needs your faith and integrity. It needs your honesty and passion for Christ. It needs your resolve and your knowledge for the truth. Today's social issues could go a different direction if you and I share our Damascus Road Experiences with the masses. It will change if we are open to lay our hands on the blind Pauls and see God change their lives for the better. The Damascus Road Experience is useless unless we take it to the world. The bible says Paul began to preach the message immediately after his conversion and healing experience. The baton has been passed onto us. What are we going to do with it? Are we going to take it to our coffee shop discussions and disperse our religious reiterate out to each other? Or are we going to run with it and pass it on to the next generation? The choice is yours. For me, I am going to run until I die........
Post a Comment