Tag: who are you?

Paul’s personal encounter with Jesus.

Scripture reading for February 22nd: Acts 22, Psalm 38, Proverbs 7

Acts 22:6-11 “”As I was on my way and drew near to Damascus, about noon a great light from heaven suddenly shone around me. And I fell to the ground and heard a voice saying to me, “Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting Me?’ And I answered, ‘Who are You, Lord?’ And He said to me, ‘I am Jesus of Nazareth, Whom you are persecuting.’ Now those who were with me saw the light but did not understand the voice of the One Who was speaking to me. And I said ‘What shall I do, Lord?’ And the Lord said to me, ‘Rise, and go into Damascus, and there you will be told all that is appointed for you to do.’ And since I could not see because of the brightness of that light, I was led by the hand by those who were with me, and come into Damascus.”

The fierce Pharisee and persecutor of followers of Jesus was on his own way to Damascus with letters of authority to round up followers of Christ. God knew Paul’s heart and had plans to him. On the road in broad daylight, a great light shone around Paul and he was knocked off his horse to the ground. A voice, the Lord Jesus, spoke a question to him, speaking his name twice for emphasis. Paul responded with a question: “Who are Your, Lord?” Jesus revealed Himself to Paul and told him he was really persecuting Him. Paul’s next question: “What shall I do?” Jesus’ instructions were to go into Damascus and wait for further instructions. Paul was led by the hand because the bright light had left him without sight. God was revealing to Paul the darkness of sin in his life and the path of ‘Light’ in Jesus.

Psalm 38:9-10 “O Lord, all my longing is before You; my sighing is not hidden from You. My heart throbs; my strength fails me, and the light of my eyes–it also has gone from me.”

Prayer: Father God, thank You for Your patience with those who are sincerely misguided and under the control of darkness. Use me to help people in that state to find answers to “Who are You, Lord?” and “What shall I do?” Thank You for revealing Your Son’s identity, Jesus the Christ, to me and calling me to follow Jesus and shepherd Your people under Your master leadership. Let Your light shine brightly in me.

Proverbs 7:1 “My son, keep my words and treasure up my commandments with you; . . “

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“Who are you?”

Scripture reading for February 17th: Acts 19, Psalm 35, Proverbs 4

Acts 19:13-17 “Then some of the itinerant Jewish exorcists undertook to invoke the Name of the Lord Jesus over those who had evil spirits, saying, “I adjure you by the Jesus Whom Paul proclaims.” Seven sons of a Jewish high priest named Sceva were doing this. But the evil spirit answered them, “Jesus I know, and Paul I recognize, but who are you?” And the man in whom was the evil spirit leaped on them, mastered all of them and overpowered them, so that they fled out of that house naked and wounded. And this became known to all the residents of Ephesus, both Jews and Greeks. And fear fell upon them all, and the Name of the Lord Jesus was extolled. Also many of those who were now believers came, confessing and divulging their practices.”

This amazing story took place over twenty years after Pentecost. Earlier, Paul had lead twelve disciples who were only familiar with John’s baptism of repentance into the baptism of the Holy Spirit with the evidence of speaking in tongues and prophesy. Miracles were being done with just aprons from Paul’s clothing being placed on the sick and infirmed and healing taking place. Some sons of the Jewish high priest had evidently observed Paul and other believers invoking the Name of Jesus. They tried to use the same formula, but the demon addressed them with a question: “Who are you?” These exorcists knew about Jesus that Paul preached, but they did not know Jesus! The evil spirit did know Jesus and Paul, but did not see Jesus in them! The result was a bad beating and humiliation but growth for Christ’s Church!

Psalm 35:27-28 Let those who delight in My righteousness shout for joy and be glad and say evermore, “Great is the Lord Who delights in the welfare of His servant!” Then my tongue shall tell of Your righteousness and of Your praise all the day long.”

Prayer: Thank You Father, for the amazing stories of the Gospel spreading and the gradual unfolding of Your plan among Jew and Gentiles. The joy and delight of people healed of sickness and infirmity and delivered from evil spirits brings joy to our hearts as Your children. May evil spirits not ask the question “Who are you?” of us as we confront them in faith and the wisdom and insight of Your Holy Spirit.

Proverbs 4:7-9 “The beginning of wisdom is this: Get wisdom, and whatever you get, get insight. Prize her highly, and she will exalt you; she will honor you if you embrace her. She will place on your head a graceful garland; she will bestow on you a beautiful crown.”

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Who are you?

Scripture reading for May 10th: 1st Samuel 28-29, 1st Chronicles 9, Acts 19

Acts 19: 13-17 “Then some of the itinerant Jewish exorcists undertook to invoke the Name of the Lord Jesus over those who had evil spirits, saying, “I adjure you by the Jesus Whom Paul proclaims.” Seven sons of a Jewish high priest named Sceva were doing this. But the evil spirit answered them, “Jesus I know, and Paul I recognize, but who are you?” And the man in whom was the evil spirit leaped on them, mastered all of them and overpowered them, so that they fled out of that house naked and wounded. And this became known to all the residents of Ephesus, both Jews and Greeks. And fear fell on them all and the Name of the Lord Jesus was extolled.”

God was doing extraordinary miracles through Paul in Ephesus, many were being healed and delivered from evil spirits just through contact with aprons or handkerchiefs that had touched Paul’s body. Some sons of a chief priest named Sceva observed Paul’s use of the Name of Jesus and the resulting miracles. They tried to imitate Paul’s “formula” for success. The demonic spirit spoke to them in rebuke, the spirit knew Jesus, and recognized Paul the Apostle, but who were they? It is one thing to know about the Name of Jesus, but another to have authority to use Jesus’ Name in ministry to the afflicted and demonically oppressed! These impostors paid a price for their failure to know Jesus and received a beating to remember! Do the forces of Satan know who you are?

Acts 19:18-20 “Also many of those who were now believers came, confessing and divulging their practices. And a number of those who practiced magic arts brought their books together and burned them in the sight of all. And they counted the value of them and found it came to fifty thousand pieces of silver. So the Word of the Lord continued to increase and prevail mightily.”

Prayer: Father God, thank You for adopting me into Your forever family and granting me the authority to ask in the Name of Jesus for needs of ministry and miraculous deliverance. I receive this authority by Your grace alone through faith in Jesus Christ. Use me as You will to see Your Word increase and prevail mightily in this time to Your glory!

1st Samuel 28:5-7 “When Saul saw the army of the Philistines, he was afraid, and his heart trembled greatly. And when Saul inquired of the Lord, the Lord did not answer him, either by dreams, or by Urim, or by prophets. Then Saul said to his servants, “Seek out for me a woman who is a medium, that I may go to her and inquire of her.”

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Saul’s life-changing encounter!

Scripture reading for November 8th: Acts 8-9

In today’s reading we have the account of the conversion of one of the most influential people in the early days of the church.  The first 11 chapters of Acts are primarily centered around the life of Peter and his ministry to the Jews around Jerusalem.  Chapter 9 gives the account of Saul, a zealous Pharisee, who was a persecutor of the early church and was bent on protecting Judaism and eliminating disciples of Jesus.  He is spoken of first as one who gave approval of those who stoned Stephen. (Acts 8:1)  An encounter with Jesus is what Saul needed to radically change his world-view!

“Meanwhile, Saul was still breathing out murderous threats against the Lord’s disciples.  He went to the high priest and asked 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.  So get up and go into the city and you will be told what you must do.” Acts 9:1-6

Saul had been hunting down disciples and as he traveled on a mission to Damascus, the Lord met him personally.  The light of glory threw Saul to the ground and blinded him.  Jesus asked him a simple question.  The question reveals that when anyone persecutes one of Jesus’ followers, He feels it personally!  Saul was also addressed by first name.  Jesus knows each person by name and knows where they are and what they are doing.

Thankfully, Saul repented during the period of blindness that lasted three days.  God sent a disciple named Ananias to lay hands on Saul to receive his sight back.  Ananias was initially afraid of Saul because of his reputation, but God revealed that Saul was His chosen instrument to reach the Gentiles.  (Acts 9:15-16) After he was healed and baptized, Saul began to preach the Gospel in the very synagogues that he had come initially to hunt Christians in!  What a difference an encounter with Jesus makes!

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