Check out all the previous Acts readings here.

Acts Reading Plan | Week 7 | Day 5



Prayer


Psalm 130:7 says, “..put your hope in the Lord, for with the Lord is unfailing love and with him is full redemption.” We can put our hope in all sorts of things, but only the Lord is unfailing and brings full redemption. As you come to spend time with him, pause to think about what you are putting your hope in. Give those things to Jesus and ask Him to show you the hope in Him today.

Bible Reading: Acts 9:1-9


Read these verses three times slowly.

Meanwhile, Saul was still breathing out murderous threats against the Lord’s disciples. He went to the high priest and 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. As he neared Damascus on his journey, suddenly a light from heaven flashed around him. He fell to the ground and heard a voice say to him, “Saul, Saul, why do you persecute me?”

“Who are you, Lord?” Saul asked.

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

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

Reflection & Questions


Today’s reading begins with the word “meanwhile”. In other words, while Philip (and the other believers) are following the lead of the Spirit and seeing amazing things happen, something else is happening as well. And that something is Saul. We met Saul earlier in Acts 6, where he was an approving observer of Stephen’s stoning. The zealous Saul went from that event to become one of the chief persecutors of the early church. If anyone was far from Jesus it was Saul. Saul didn’t want anything to do with Jesus – but amazingly, Jesus wanted everything to do with Saul.

So one day, into the darkness of Saul’s life, God appeared in a great light from heaven . In fact, the light was so bright he fell off his horse and was blind for three days. The light was Jesus exposing Saul’s evil deeds and bringing the truth into his life.

This was the beginning of an incredible transformation. Saul the persecutor, would become Paul the Apostle, writer of a large part of the New Testament and an incredible missionary for Jesus (more on that to come as we journey through Acts).

But for now, notice a detail in what Jesus tells Saul: “I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting.” Notice he didn’t say, “You are persecuting my followers.” He said you are persecuting me. Saul wasn’t persecuting Jesus, but that’s how Jesus was taking it. The suffering of his people was his own suffering. Jesus was right there with them, feeling the weight of the persecutions with them. What an awesome God we follow – he does not separate himself from us, but comes alongside us, feeling the weight of what we are walking through and feels it personally. Whatever you’re going through today, whatever hardship, trial or persecution, you can know that Jesus cares and He suffers with you.

      1. Who is someone (like Saul) who you could never imagine giving their lives to Jesus? Pray for them today.
      2. Do you believe Jesus deeply empathizes with you in your hardships? Why or why not?

Prayer


Talk to God in response to the reading today.

Worship Song


You might use this song today to worship Jesus today:


Check out more Bible Reading Plans here.

Questions?

Ed Applegate

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  Series Archives Coming Soon Week 1: The Ultimate Server Week 5: The King’s Legacy: David And Solomon Week 4: The King Is Crowned: King David Week 3: David and Saul Pause Week 2: The Boy Week 1: King Saul Week 5: What Is Truth? (EASTER) Week 4: Is Jesus God (Good Thursday) Week 3: What Have You Done?

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