#carmelprays – Acts 22:1-21
Opening Song: You Are Good
Read Scripture: Acts 22:1-21
Allow God to bring all our experiences to come together for His Glory.
Paul is a Jew who is well-schooled in the Law as he studied under Gamaliel and he had the benefit of growing up in Tarsus which was a famous learning centre. Here we see how he had significant contact with Truth but yet went astray as he persecuted the followers of Jesus. This warns us about the dangers of information without knowing God personally, deeply and powerfully. God encountered him on the road to Damascus and turned him round. Some may think, if God meets me this way, I too will turn around. Let’s be thankful for the patience of God. Are we comfortable with the idea of going blind for a few days just to confirm our life’s calling?
After Paul turned around, his knowledge of the Law, Greek and his Roman citizenship which was probably a result of being born in Tarsus to parents who were already Roman citizens were three factors that were very helpful in his ministry. The message is simple, God may have planted many things in our lives that can be used for His Glory. Until we are willing to surrender our lives to Him, these “talents” and “privileges” mean little and may even be detrimental. Ask the Lord to bring your experiences together for His Glory.
Three key things we know when we get to know Jesus
We will know His will, see Him in our lives and hear from Him. It is actually very logical. When we get to know someone well, we will know what he likes. As we spend more time together, we will be influenced and we will hear from him. This is true in the realm of human relationships, it is also true about knowing God. It is not just a matter of knowing dogma.
God provides in the place of ashes
The beginning of the Early Church was Jews-centric. As Paul had persecuted many of the early Jewish followers of Jesus, this affected the success of his ministry among the believers in Jerusalem. The Lord had a greater plan and God sent Paul to the rest of the known world to reach the Gentiles. Perhaps you feel you are no longer useful in the Kingdom of God due to some bad choices that you have made. Perhaps your thought patterns are so steeped in ungodly ways or religious tradition that God has little space in your life. Would you consider allowing God to come into your life and refresh your heart once again? To those who respond, new life can spring forth.
Pray in Response
Dear Lord God, can I be so schooled in the knowledge of You that I miss knowing You altogether? Father, Your Word points me to You and so as I search the Scriptures, please help me to know You intimately, see what You are doing and hear Your still small voice speaking to me. Let me not be about doing the things that I think are for You without first waiting on You to lead and direct me. And as I know You, will you also renew a steadfast spirit within me that in so being with You, my heart will be refreshed and renewed and transformed by Your amazing power in Jesus Christ name I pray. Amen.
Response Song: Jesus, All For Jesus
By Ps Ng Liang Wei