Acts 9; From Persecutor to Disciple

I am writing tonight from the beautiful Tampa Bay area.

Acts of the Apostles Chapter 12

This chapter is based on Acts 9:1-18.

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. And immediately there fell from his eyes as it had been scales: and he received sight forthwith, and arose, and was baptized. Acts 9:17-18

As soon as Saul was converted he was introduced to Ananias and was baptized into the church. He had been called by God. “For I neither received it of man, neither was I taught [it], but by the revelation of Jesus Christ”.  Galatians 1:12 Still God had an elder lay hands on him in Acts 9 and be baptized into the church.

Thus Jesus gave sanction to the authority of His organized church and placed Saul in connection with His appointed agencies on earth. Christ had now a church as His representative on earth, and to it belonged the work of directing the repentant sinner in the way of life.  {AA 122.2} 

 

Many have an idea that they are responsible to Christ alone for their light and experience, independent of His recognized followers on earth. Jesus is the friend of sinners, and His heart is touched with their woe. He has all power, both in heaven and on earth; but He respects the means that He has ordained for the enlightenment and salvation of men; He directs sinners to the church, which He has made a channel of light to the world.  {AA 122.3} 

You may find more studies and devotionals at In Light Of the Cross.

Matthew 14; Walking on Water

I am writing today from the beautiful Tampa Bay area.

When we read about Jesus walking on the water in Matthew 14, we often think that is something He was able to do only because He was God. I remember looking at a greeting card a while back that read, “Some people say I think too much of you, just because I worship the water you walk on.” I have even joked about walking on water because years ago in Oklahoma, I walked across a frozen lake. All joking aside though, Jesus did not do anything that He did not also make possible for us to do as well. Jesus rose raised the dead but so did Peter in Acts 9. Jesus shares His victories over sin and evil with us, and lets us experience the same victories in our lives.

Notice in John 14:10 Jesus attributes His success to His relationship with the Father.  Believest thou not that I am in the Father, and the Father in me? the words that I speak unto you I speak not of myself: but the Father that dwelleth in me, he doeth the works.

 

Notice in John 14:12 that when we enter into a relationship with Him and the Father that the same success is possible for us.   Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater [works] than these shall he do; because I go unto my Father.

 

In the story of Jesus and Peter walking on the water in Matthew 14, folks are quick to point out that Peter started to fall in the water when He took his eyes off Jesus, but they fail to point out that he was walking on water, just like Jesus was, so long as he kept His eyes on Jesus. Peter did walk on water! Before Jesus is recorded walking on water, earlier in chapter 14 we see Him spending quality time in prayer alone with the Father. I wonder, if Peter had spent that time in prayer, could he too have walked without falling into the water? Before we can begin to walk like Jesus we must first learn to pray like Jesus.

 

For a Desire of Ages study on how we can experience the same victories Jesus had click here.