God Gold of the Day
The Conversion of Saul
“But Saul, still breathing threats and murder against the disciples of the Lord, went to the high priest and asked him for letters to the synagogues at Damascus, so that if he found any belonging to the Way, men or women, he might bring them bound to Jerusalem. Now as he went on his way, he approached Damascus, and suddenly a light from heaven shone around him.”
Thanks to a coworker’s recommendation, started reading Paul’s story from the beginning. All I’ve ever heard about Paul is how he’s one of the greatest Christian warriors ever to walk the earth, but I never paid attention to where he came from, his beginning. Paul was the baddest of the bad. He literally searched out Christians to have them murdered. We see it all the time of how God uses imperfect people to do his work and Paul is the most imperfect I’ve seen in His Word. It made me really think to when I was running as far from God as I could get, doing things that weren’t anywhere close to right. At times I thought there is no way I can come back from this; I’m too far separated from God. Funny thing is that God was right there the whole time. He let me hit a breaking point and I crumbled into His open arms. What’s so cool about that is my story is all of our stories and so many stories that hasn’t been lived out yet. With the Lord being the church and us being the hands and feet, instead of keeping our testimonies to ourselves we can spread the life we’ve been gifted into all of the lifeless people around us. My brother said something to me earlier, “what’s worse than being lost? Being lost with no one looking for you.” Even though our beginning isn’t as bad as Paul’s, everyone has their own beginning. No matter how much we think our story doesn’t matter or how far gone we think someone else is, think back to your beginning and think about the difference after you were gifted life, wouldn’t you say that’s enough of a reason to share it?
God Gold of the Day
“The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want.”
“Talked about this verse in a Bible study the other night and haven’t been able to get it out of my head. I looked up the characteristics of a shepherd and sheep to simplify it a little. A shepherd is a leader, guide, provider, and protector of the flock and he has to be because the sheep are usually dumb, defenseless, and wanderers. Sometimes we think we are the shepherd of our lives and when we act that way we usually end up defenseless against wolves, hungry, and super lost and that’s exactly why we are sheep. To really live with the Lord as our shepherd, we have to get rid of our pride thinking “I’m the man”, humble ourselves and notice how small and weak we are and in that realize how big and powerful God is. I heard this the other day;
“The way we live our lives usually determines how big we see God.”
If we see God in a big way, the guide, provider, and protector, our shepherd, our lives will show it and we will never want because we will have everything we need. It will bring an abundance of contentment and joy because we aren’t in control, our shepherd is guiding us to green pastures, protecting us from wolves, and the only hunger we have is to know more of Him. I don’t know about y’all but when I look back at the times I thought I was the shepherd, contentment and joy were nowhere to be found. Can you imagine what would happen if give up our world and embrace being sheep that are guided by God, our shepherd? A big flock of sheep roaming around together following the biggest and most powerful Shepherd there is! World changing and Kingdom impact!!!
God Gold of the day
“For some days he was with the disciples at Damascus. And immediately he proclaimed Jesus in the synagogues, saying, “He is the Son of God.” And all who heard him were amazed and said, “Is not this the man who made havoc in Jerusalem of those who called upon this name? And has he not come here for this purpose, to bring them bound before the chief priests?” But Saul increased all the more in strength, and confounded the Jews who lived in Damascus by proving that Jesus was the Christ.“
Once Paul was given this new life filled with the Holy Spirit, he didn’t sit around all hunky dory just happy to be there, he took the power and the truth he was given and gave back by starting his ministry. What’s even more impressive about him jumping straight to action is he knew there would be opposition because the people he was speaking to were the same people he used to work with, slandering and murdering over the name of Jesus, but that didn’t stop him. With Paul being a good steward of his new life, he wasn’t left high and dry to be spit on and ridiculed, but he was blessed by the Lord with strength to withstand it. We are put in situations all the time when we know there will be resistance and opposition whether we are spreading the Gospel to people who don’t believe or taking on strongholds of sin. I’ll be honest there is a lot of times where I’ve been weak and hid so I didn’t have to face the opposition and what’s encouraging to me is when Paul was facing even bigger opposition with people who probably wanted to kill him after switching sides, he stayed faithful, kept preaching, and was rewarded with the strength to keep on going, proclaiming the name of Christ even more.
My big challenges to myself and to you from this is not to wait around to spread the name of Jesus cause it will never be an easy task to be done with no resistance and in living a Christlike life through words and action, when the opposition comes, no matter how bad it is, we need to meet it at the door instead of hiding in a closet because if we stay faithful, right beside that opposition is going to be the Lord blessing us with the strength to stand firm and blow past the opposition. I know I read this and thought “yeah of course Paul would do that after being given this gift of new life.” Then I asked myself, “if that seems so obvious then why don’t my actions show how thankful I am for this gift I’ve been given?”
God Gold of the day
“But the Lord said to him, “Go, for he is a chosen instrument of mine to carry my name before the Gentiles and kings and the children of Israel. For I will show him how much he must suffer for the sake of my name.” So Ananias departed and entered the house. And laying his hands on him he said, “Brother Saul, the Lord Jesus who appeared to you on the road by which you came has sent me so that you may regain your sight and be filled with the Holy Spirit.” And immediately something like scales fell from his eyes, and he regained his sight. Then he rose and was baptized; “
It amazes me that Paul and so many other people in the Bible who are so inadequate and sinful are chosen to be tools in the hands of God. Even Ananias was asked to do something that seemed ridiculous and even after questioning, he became obedient and helped give a new life and vision to a man that ended up doing so much for the name of Jesus. It’s so awesome that God does some His biggest works in the situations that seem so messed up or bad. He even mentions how much Paul will suffer for His name and if you look at the times Paul was suffering and going through the worst times, those are the moments that God’s glory is shown the most. Another thing that’s crazy is that Paul hardly questions it, once the presence of the Lord is upon him, he is nothing but obedient and if Ananias wasn’t obedient then we wouldn’t be reading this story. The faith and obedience shown in the most confusing and worst of times turned out to be such a huge Kingdom impact. It’s against our human instincts to want to suffer and be obedient but if suffering and obedience is what it takes to allow God’s glory and power to be seen at a higher level then why would we not say “bring it on.” I pray that God breaks us, gives us tough and uncomfortable situations that we have to fight to be obedient in so we may have scales fall off our eyes with new vision or that maybe our obedience leads to someone else getting new vision because through the breaking and tearing apart of our flesh, He is molding and shaping us for something much bigger, a life of Kingdom impact here on earth and a life in eternity with Him. You never know how many Paul’s are around you so it’s up to us if we are going to be an Ananias. If we are living for Christ we are going to suffer, it’s up to us how we handle it, we can shy away and let it beat us or we can have faith that God is working it according to His will and be encouragers to each other along the way.
God Gold of the day
Another “Old Gold” that has worth that keeps rising daily!!!! Hope these truths can be of some encouragement for you today and most of all, bring you closer to God than ever before!
“Then Moses summoned Joshua and said to him in the sight of all Israel, “Be strong and courageous, for you shall go with this people into the land that the Lord has sworn to their fathers to give them, and you shall put them in possession of it. It is the Lord who goes before you. He will be with you; he will not leave you or forsake you. Do not fear or be dismayed.”
I’ve always done this thing where I see verses like this, I see “be strong and courageous”, then I get all hype cause as the manly man I am I got that covered right? Nah not so much lol. I see that then try to attack life and all the struggles that come with it and for some reason it doesn’t always work. I wonder why it doesn’t and it’s really pretty simple. “I” try to be strong and courageous without HIM! That’s where verse 8 comes in, Moses didn’t just tell Joshua to be strong and courageous, pat him on the back and ride off into the sunset. He made sure Joshua knew where and who the source of all his strength comes from. I notice I live out my life and try to overcome things majority of the time just off verse 7. I forget to keep reading, or to remind myself that my strength and courage come from the Lord. So, when living life with both these verses in mind, things change, we overcome, we are capable of so much more! It’s super easy to draw off our own strength but what’s the point when the truth is we don’t have enough anyways? We have a God that goes before us, that never leaves or forsakes us, a God of deliverance, a God that makes being strong and courageous so much easier than we can on our own! I don’t know about y’all but my verse 7 only lifestyle usually doesn’t work out too well so let’s be strong, be courageous, and know that everything we have comes from a much higher power, a God that changes lives