Words of Jesus 69


This is the story of Saul whose life was changed by the power of God. Nothing is impossible. God can make the darkness into light. He can change the vilest sinner and make them fruitful. Never give up on anyone.

  • Acts 9:1 And Saul, yet breathing out threatenings and slaughter against the disciples of the Lord, went unto the high priest,
  • Act 9:2 And desired of him letters to Damascus to the synagogues, that if he found any of this way, whether they were men or women, he might bring them bound unto Jerusalem.

Saul was a man zealous of the law and ready to take vengeance on any who preached something contrary to the law of Moses. Apparently he never heard of separation of church and state.

In the past and in some countries today, government and religion, no matter what the religion operate together. This occurred, I believe, mainly because authorities use religion to get the people to fear them and obey them as gods.

In Jesus Christ this should no longer be necessary because we are supposed to serve by love. We obey the law of the land because we love God and want peace and safety. We live in peace because we love our fellowmen or should love our fellowmen. The only exception to this would be if the law of the land went contrary to God's law.

  • Acts 9:3 And as he journeyed, he came near Damascus: and suddenly there shined round about him a light from heaven:
  • Act 9:4 And he fell to the earth, and heard a voice saying unto him, Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou me?

When God's people are persecuted it is the same as persecuting Christ Himself. Every time one was burned at the stake during rule of religious people who thought they were doing God a favor, they were actually burning Jesus Christ. If one is beheaded, shot or killed in any manner for the cause of Christ, it is the same as killing Jesus all over again.

If you are cruel to one who believes in Jesus, you are cruel to Jesus.

  • Acts 9:5 And he said, Who art thou, Lord? And the Lord said, I am Jesus whom thou persecutest: it is hard for thee to kick against the pricks.

Saul was kicking against the believers in Christ inflicting much pain and sorrow to them.

  • Acts 9:6 And he trembling and astonished said, Lord, what wilt thou have me to do? And the Lord said unto him, Arise, and go into the city, and it shall be told thee what thou must do.
  • Act 9:7 And the men which journeyed with him stood speechless, hearing a voice, but seeing no man.

They did not understand the one speaking. They knew something was going on but not what or why.

  • Acts 9:8 And Saul arose from the earth; and when his eyes were opened, he saw no man: but they led him by the hand, and brought him into Damascus.
  • Act 9:9 And he was three days without sight, and neither did eat nor drink.

God actually was showing mercy to Saul. Not everyone that harms God's people get off this lightly.

  • Revelation 13:10 If anyone gathers captivity, into captivity he goes. If anyone will kill by a sword, by a sword he must be killed. Here is the patience and the faith of the saints.

We reap what we sow. Whoever kills will be killed unless in Saul's case the Lord intervenes and shows mercy.

I remember the pray of the martyr Stephen at the time of his death.

  • Act 7:59 And they stoned Stephen, calling upon God, and saying, Lord Jesus, receive my spirit.
  • Act 7:60 And he kneeled down, and cried with a loud voice, Lord, lay not this sin to their charge. And when he had said this, he fell asleep.
  • Act 8:1 And Saul was consenting unto his death. And at that time there was a great persecution against the church which was at Jerusalem; and they were all scattered abroad throughout the regions of Judea and Samaria, except the apostles.

Saul was present and agreeing with the death of Stephen. God answered Stephen's prayer by saving Saul. Who knows but perhaps hearing the prayer of Stephen may have planted a seed that Jesus watered on that Damascus road.

  • Acts 9:10 And there was a certain disciple at Damascus named Ananias; and to him said the Lord in a vision, Ananias. And he said, Behold, I am here, Lord.
  • Act 9:11 And the Lord said unto him, Arise, and go into the street which is called Straight, and inquire in the house of Judas for one called Saul of Tarsus: for, behold, he prayeth,
  • Act 9:12 And hath seen in a vision a man named Ananias coming in, and putting his hand on him, that he might receive his sight.
  • Act 9:13 Then Ananias answered, Lord, I have heard by many of this man, how much evil he hath done to thy saints at Jerusalem:

Ananias was asking, "Are you sure you know what you are talking about Lord?"

What we see as impossible, God sees as a challenge.

  • Act 9:14 And here he hath authority from the chief priests to bind all that call on thy name.
  • Act 9:15 But the Lord said unto him, Go thy way: for he is a chosen vessel unto me, to bear my name before the Gentiles, and kings, and the children of Israel:

God knew that Saul would not hesitate to tell the truth even before kings. Once he was converted, he was just as much an advocate for the Lord as he was for Satan before. He now became someone who was not ashamed of the gospel of Christ.

  • Acts 9:16 For I will show him how great things he must suffer for my name's sake.

Saul's preaching would generate hatred toward himself. He would be suffer many things for the cause of Christ even later forfeit his life but in eternity he is present with the Lord.

  • Philippians 1:23 For I am in a strait between two, having a desire to depart, and to be with Christ; which is far better:
  • Phi 1:24 Nevertheless to abide in the flesh is more needful for you.

What a way to look at things. He wanted to stay here to help others to believe and to teach them of this good way but at the same time he desired to go be with the Lord.

  • 2Corinthians 5:6 Therefore we are always confident, knowing that, whilst we are at home in the body, we are absent from the Lord:
  • 2Co 5:7 (For we walk by faith, not by sight:)
  • :8 We are confident, I say, and willing rather to be absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord.

Saul who later became Paul was just as zealous for the truth and the gospel as he was zealous for evil before.

  • Acts 9:17 And Ananias went his way, and entered into the house; and putting his hands on him said, Brother Saul, the Lord, even Jesus, that appeared unto thee in the way as thou camest, hath sent me, that thou mightest receive thy sight, and be filled with the Holy Ghost.

Saul's eyes were healed and he was filled with the Holy Ghost. In obedience to the will of God, he was then baptized in water showing in outward actions what had taken place in his life.

Being saved or "born again", being baptized in water and being baptized with the Holy Spirit is what every believer should experience when they believe in Jesus Christ and have true saving faith in Him.

  • Acts 9:18 And immediately there fell from his eyes as it had been scales: and he received sight forthwith, and arose, and was baptized.
  • Act 9:19 And when he had received meat, he was strengthened. Then was Saul certain days with the disciples which were at Damascus.
  • Act 9:20 And straightway he preached Christ in the synagogues, that he is the Son of God.

Saul who was later called Paul didn't waste any time. Immediately he began to preach the gospel he once scorned.

This is an example of the power of God to change lives. We must never forget that God can change lives even in those we think could never be saved.

Words of Jesus Part 70

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