28 Weeks Acts Devotion Week 22
WEEK 22 - ACTS 22 - January 7, 2019
Written by Mark Springer, conference president of United Methodist Men; member, Asbury UMC, Tulsa
Heavenly Father, we have a new year before us, we pray that you will make us as new believers, excited and full of your strength, power and wisdom. Give each of us opportunities to share the Gospel with many others.
Happy New Year!
Chapter 22 contains the 2nd account of Paul’s experience on the road to Damascus. (refer to week 9 for Jeff Jaynes' devotion on the first account of Saul/Paul’s conversion).
Paul’s encounter with the Lord on the road to Damascus occurred sometime around 34-36 AD. Up to this point in time, Saul was seeking to do the will and calling of God. In Chapter 22, almost 25 years later, Paul recounts his experience to a group of Jews that had beaten him and wanted him dead. How many thousand times do you think Paul shared this account with others, in season and out, during his lifetime? And why was he still telling the same story? Because that is what he was told to do by Ananias. Acts 22:15-16 – “You will be His witness to all people of what you have seen and heard. And now what are you waiting for? Get up, be baptized and wash your sins away, calling on His name.”
What kind of man was young Saul that the Lord will call him? He was educated by the best, thoroughly trained in the Jewish law, as zealous as anyone. Fired up by his zeal, he was going to Damascus to bring “these people” as prisoners to Jerusalem to be punished. Interestingly, one of “these people” (Ananias) took Saul in and prayed, “Brother Saul, receive your sight.” Or receive your vision. I like the Amplified version of Prov 29:18 – Where there is no vision (no redemptive revelation of God) the people perish. Saul received both sight and vision during his experience with the Lord.
Moving along, in verse 21 – After Saul returned to Jerusalem the Jews there were going to kill him and the Lord said, “Go, I will send you far away to the Gentiles.” This statement enraged the Jews and they went nuts. “Rid the earth of him! He is not fit to live! They shouted. They tore their clothes and threw dirt into the air, screaming loudly. (reminds me of a scene from the movie, Planet of the Apes)
The commander in charge of Saul wanted to find out why the people were so upset with Saul, so he directed that Paul be taken to the barracks to be flogged and interrogated. Paul used his Roman citizenship to avoid the beating and the next day (chapter 23) he was brought before the Sanhedrin.
Saul believed in God with all of his heart, mind soul and strength. Saul met Jesus and believed in Him. Paul trusted Jesus and did what He said.
Suggested reading schedule
• Monday - Acts 22:1-16
• Tuesday - Proverbs 29:18
• Wednesday - Acts 22:17-20
• Thursday - Matthew 28:10-20
• Friday - Acts 22:21-23
• Saturday - Ephesians 4
• Sunday - Acts 22:24-30
Reflection question: Do you have a road to Damascus experience in your life? Do you know what your Vision from God is for your life? Do you believe in Jesus? Do you believe Jesus? Forgetting what lies behind, do you press on toward the high calling of Christ for your life?
Prayer focus: For those unknown people that we will cross paths with during the next months that their hearts will be open, and our fear of sharing will be erased.
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