Date: Thursday, August 15
Scripture: Acts 21:37-22:16
Verse: I fell to the ground and heard a voice saying to me, ‘Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting me?’ I answered, ‘Who are you, Lord?’ Then he said to me, ‘I am Jesus of Nazareth whom you are persecuting.’ (Acts 22:7-8)
There are some couples that look like they belong together, at a dinner party you would match them up as a couple even if you met them separately. Then there are other couples who when you find out they are together you wonder, “How did she end up with him (or him with her)?” On the surface, they seem to have so little in common. No matter how hard one member of the couple might try to explain why they are together, it may still not make much sense. In the end it isn’t about logic, it is about a relationship and relationships are hard to explain to a third party.
Our Christian faith is about our relationship with God through Jesus Christ. It is not a system of thought, a philosophy of life, a get-rich-quick scheme, or self-help technique. Christianity is about a relationship, and relationships can be difficult to explain.
In today’s passage, Paul begins his defense by telling his accusers how he understands where they are coming from. He tells them how he was once like them – raised under the Law, and one who once saw “the Way” as threatening to his Jewish faith. Then he tells them the story of how he was on his way to persecute more Christians when he met Jesus – both in a supernatural way and through the actions of Ananias. This encounter with the resurrected Christ changed everything.
Too often, I think we try to explain our faith in a detached way – as though we were talking about a math problem or something we are trying to prove using the scientific method. We should instead be talking about our relationship with Jesus – through the Bible and prayer, and through the people we know who have Christ living in them.
Prayer: Thank you, Lord Jesus, for coming to me and changing my life as you did Saul/Paul’s. Amen.
Action: Think through and/or write down your story of your relationship with Jesus. How did it start? What are some of the milestones along the way? How has Jesus affected your thinking and behavior?
Respond: Do you know a couple who appears mismatched? Answer by clicking “Leave a Comment” below. If you are receiving this via email, click the title at the top of the email to take you to the devotion webpage where you can leave a comment.