God knows the heart

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Acts 9

1  Then Saul, still breathing threats and murder against the disciples of the Lord, went to the high priest 2 and asked letters from him to the synagogues of Damascus, so that if he found any who were of the Way, whether men or women, he might bring them bound to Jerusalem.

3 As he journeyed he came near Damascus, and suddenly a light shone around him from heaven. 4 Then he fell to the ground, and heard a voice saying to him, “Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting Me?”

5 And he said, “Who are You, Lord?”

Then the Lord said, “I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting.[a] It is hard for you to kick against the goads.”

6 So he, trembling and astonished, said, “Lord, what do You want me to do?”

Then the Lord said to him, “Arise and go into the city, and you will be told what you must do.”

7 And the men who journeyed with him stood speechless, hearing a voice but seeing no one. 8 Then Saul arose from the ground, and when his eyes were opened he saw no one. But they led him by the hand and brought him into Damascus. 9 And he was three days without sight, and neither ate nor drank.

Ananias Baptizes Saul

10 Now there was a certain disciple at Damascus named Ananias; and to him the Lord said in a vision, “Ananias.”

And he said, “Here I am, Lord.”

11 So the Lord said to him, “Arise and go to the street called Straight, and inquire at the house of Judas for one called Saul of Tarsus, for behold, he is praying. 12 And in a vision he has seen a man named Ananias coming in and putting his hand on him, so that he might receive his sight.”

13 Then Ananias answered, “Lord, I have heard from many about this man, how much harm he has done to Your saints in Jerusalem. 14 And here he has authority from the chief priests to bind all who call on Your name.”

15 But the Lord said to him, “Go, for he is a chosen vessel of Mine to bear My name before Gentiles, kings, and the children of Israel. 16 For I will show him how many things he must suffer for My name’s sake.”

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.

Saul Preaches Christ

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.

Saul Escapes Death

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 the same Apostle Paul that wrote 12-13 books of the New Testament.

The reason I am speaking on this is because some of the very issues we are dealing with and contending with today are centered around the words this great man wrote.

How could God use such a man who was known for sentencing many of God’s own to death?  Then God turns around and first of all tell the original 11disciples that they were not qualified to pick Judas’ replacement, then secondly, pick one that recently came off stoning one of God’s great men of God Stephen.

Notice how shocked Ananias is when God tells him the news and that he would have to restore his sight to him.

People want to call the Apostle Paul a womanizer, chauvinistic, power hunger, the list goes on and on for some of the passages of scripture he penned and it seems quite interesting to me to say the least.

We don’t have problems with many of his writings, just the ones that rub us the wrong way or we just can’t believe God told him to write.  Some feel that it was just Paul’s own feelings of how he felt things should be and therefore, they don’t have to follow or believe they are required to obey them.

“God is doing a new thing” some will say or it was good maybe for back then but things have changed.

It’s funny to me how they can’t give you Chapter and verse for that last statement though.

The moment you compromise, water down, alter, convolute, the Word of God, it’s open season to pick and choose what you will and won’t obey.

I say it’s best you throw the entire Bible out then because regardless if you disregard one scripture or a thousand, once compromises are made, it’s all null and void in God’s eyes.

Simply meaning to Him, nothing you do will matter because the moment God allows us to pick and choose what we do and don’t want to agree with when it comes to His Word and He accepts it, the boundaries or the line that was once drawn in the sand has been removed and we are left to our own justice or righteousness.

Sounds crazy, but this is what we do when we attempt to debate a commandment from God.  There is nothing to debate, its either conform or compromise.

It’s ultimately your choice, however sin has already been judged and the one thing you do not have a choice on is the consequences that will follow the choices and decisions we make.

Till next week,

God Bless.

Rev. Dr. Robert L. Harrison, PhD – pastorrobharrison@gmail.com, @drrobharrison

Pastor – The Apostolic Open Door Church of God & True Holiness – 2800 41st Ave. N, St. Pete
First Vice President – NAACP St. Petersburg Branch
Chaplain – Southern Christian Leadership Conference of Pinellas
Parent Support for Education Council Member | Chaplain – Dept. Juvenile Justice for Circuit 6

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