Friday, May 15, 2015

One man (or lady) sharpens another (Acts 9:17-43, Acts 9:5, Proverbs 27:17)

Peter & Paul (Saul)
Growing in Christ

A few years ago my cousins asked me to get on Facebook so we could all talk.  So I did.  I've never been fond of Facebook because I like my privacy.  So then I started getting all these Christian friends.  And then there were some nice graphics.  And now I need to focus on my artwork more for sure and my blog!!?  It can be very time consuming.  I like the Christian stuff that's being passed around though.  My husband said the same thing.   

We left off with Saul being led to Ananias and accepting Christ as Savior.  It's interesting this is also where the Television series left off last Sunday night.  So we can see how the Bible and the movie are the same.

We left off with Saul trying to destroy all the Christians.  Then Jesus Himself spoke to him and asked, "Saul, Saul why are you persecuting me?"

Saul asked Jesus who he was. 

Acts 9:5 And he said, “Who are You, Lord?”
Then the Lord said, “I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting."

After that Saul lost his vision.  Jesus sent him to Ananias another disciple.  Jesus must've known He could trust Ananias to help Saul.  He was a terrible tyrant that tried to kill Christians.  I'd be nervous if I met the old Saul.

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.
This would take a lot of courage on everyone's part.  One thing that comes to mind is Saul's character.  He realized he made a mistake and then changed.  Here's what he did next:
20 Immediately he preached the Christ in the synagogues, that He is the Son of God.
21 Then all who heard were amazed, and said, “Is this not he who destroyed those who called on this name in Jerusalem, and has come here for that purpose, so that he might bring them bound to the chief priests?”
22 But Saul increased all the more in strength, and confounded the Jews who dwelt in Damascus, proving that this Jesus is the Christ.
I was lost and now I'm found.  This is the message we all share.  There's a point when we realize we're just plain lost.  We don't know how to fix our lives but we know it's on the wrong track.  So Saul who set out to destroy Christians wound up sharing Christ.  So the Jews wanted him killed.

23 Now after many days were past, the Jews plotted to kill him. 24 But their plot became known to Saul. And they watched the gates day and night, to kill him. 25 Then the disciples took him by night and let him down through the wall in a large basket.
This is just the beginning of some of the fun stories with the disciples, angels came, walls fell down, all sorts of wonders happened.  Lots of people became Christians.

I would be terrified too!!!  I'm basically a wimp.  I confess.  But Saul wanted to go to Jerusalem and join the disciples there.
26 And when Saul had come to Jerusalem, he tried to join the disciples; but they were all afraid of him, and did not believe that he was a disciple. 27 But Barnabas took him and brought him to the apostles. And he declared to them how he had seen the Lord on the road, and that He had spoken to him, and how he had preached boldly at Damascus in the name of Jesus. 28 So he was with them at Jerusalem, coming in and going out. 29 And he spoke boldly in the name of the Lord Jesus and disputed against the Hellenists, but they attempted to kill him. 30 When the brethren found out, they brought him down to Caesarea and sent him out to Tarsus.
Paul was from Tarsus.  He was uh, enthusiastic in his pursuit to lead others to Christ.  I imagine him as like a tiger, so eager to get the job done.  Err actually that was my reputation in business, I was lovingly called, "Mad dog,"  because I always got the job done  when others couldn't.  Paul is the "Mad dog" of evangelism!  (truth is I prayed a lot! and I have a high pitched voice  : )

Paul is one of my Bible heroes.  I gotta admit, it would've been good if he could've been a little bit more tactful.  He wound up in prison and all sorts of stuff.  Life is hard sometimes isn't it?  All or nothing is good, especially with a mixture of love.

31 Then the churches throughout all Judea, Galilee, and Samaria had peace and were edified. And walking in the fear of the Lord and in the comfort of the Holy Spirit, they were multiplied.
Wow Paul left to go to Tarsus and everyone had peace...  Hmmm.  I can't wait to meet him in Heaven.  He must've had so much energy and enthusiasm.

32 Now it came to pass, as Peter went through all parts of the country, that he also came down to the saints who dwelt in Lydda. 33 There he found a certain man named Aeneas, who had been bedridden eight years and was paralyzed. 

34 And Peter said to him, “Aeneas, Jesus the Christ heals you. Arise and make your bed.” Then he arose immediately. 35 So all who dwelt at Lydda and Sharon saw him and turned to the Lord.
So Paul is gone for a bit and Peter starts to show more compassion.  Remember he told a man he couldn't be a Christian because he asked if he could pay them to get what they had.  We know it's not about money but the poor man didn't understand. God brings unusual friends together to sharpen and shape each other.  I've prayed and seen the Lord heal people.  It's amazing.  I don't know if I would have the courage to tell someone to get up and walk.  The secret here is God's Holy Spirit within the people.
17 As iron sharpens iron,
so one person sharpens another.
18 The one who guards a fig tree will eat its fruit, and whoever protects their master will be honored.
(Proverbs 27:17-18 NIV)
Ok and here's a great lady for those of us who are women:
36 At Joppa there was a certain disciple named Tabitha, which is translated Dorcas. This woman was full of good works and charitable deeds which she did. 37 But it happened in those days that she became sick and died. When they had washed her, they laid her in an upper room. 38 And since Lydda was near Joppa, and the disciples had heard that Peter was there, they sent two men to him, imploring him not to delay in coming to them. 39 Then Peter arose and went with them. When he had come, they brought him to the upper room. And all the widows stood by him weeping, showing the tunics and garments which Dorcas had made while she was with them. 40 But Peter put them all out, and knelt down and prayed. And turning to the body he said, “Tabitha, arise.” And she opened her eyes, and when she saw Peter she sat up. 41 Then he gave her his hand and lifted her up; and when he had called the saints and widows, he presented her alive. 42 And it became known throughout all Joppa, and many believed on the Lord. 43 So it was that he stayed many days in Joppa with Simon, a tanner.
(Acts 9:20-43 NKJV)

Dear Heavenly Father,
I thank You and praise You for helping us find friends that help us grow.  I am so glad we aren't alone.  I pray You will step in and sort out the middle east.  I know so little about it.  I pray for wisdom in selecting our next president.  Bless the News reporters to do their jobs well, so we can have good leadership again in the USA.  I lift up the Supreme Court and pray Your Holy Spirit will guide them as they make decisions this week.  Help them not break the constitution.  Remind them how important Moms and Dads are.  Thank You for Israel and the shining light they are.  

Our Father in heaven,
Hallowed be Your name.
10 Your kingdom come.
Your will be done
On earth as it is in heaven.
11 Give us this day our daily bread.
12 And forgive us our debts,
As we forgive our debtors.
13 And do not lead us into temptation,
But deliver us from the evil one.
For Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen.
(Matthew 6:9-13 NKJV)

In Jesus' Name, Amen.

Need to breathe, Multiplied (link)

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