Thursday, July 3, 2008

What are you waiting for?

OK, sometimes I just have to laugh out loud! And today was one of "those mornings" with the Lord! I was just moseying along, minding my own business, reading Scripture...I mentioned in yesterday's post that my Sweet Hubby and I are reading the Bible this year. In order to do this, we have so-called "one year Bibles" which have Scripture divided up in daily sections. Each day includes Scripture from the Old and New Testaments, Psalms and Proverbs. Nice! My Sweet Hubby says that next year he's just going to read his Bible "straight." Me...I don't know - I kinda like it this way! Variety is the spice of life! But, I digress!

So I'm reading in the New Testament today, Acts 21:37-22:16. Paul has been arrested and taken into custody in Jerusalem for preaching the Gospel. He asks the commander if he might address the crowd, those who are accusing him. Now Paul (formerly Saul) had a history of persecuting the Christians himself, so he really understands the anger in the crowd.
The Paul said, "I am a Jew, born in Tarsus, a city in Cilicia, and I was brought up and educated here in Jerusalem under Gamaliel. As his student, I was carefully trained in our Jewish laws and customs. I became very zealous to honor God in everything I did, just like all of you today. And I persecuted the followers of the Way, hounding some to death, arresting both men and women and throwing them in prison. The high priest and the whole council of elders can testify that this is so. For I received letters from them to our Jewish brothers in Damascus, authorizing me to bring the Christians from there to Jerusalem, in chains, to be punished.
It was while traveling on the Damascus road that Paul witnessed the "bright light" and heard the voice of the Lord speak to him.
I fell to the ground and heard a voice saying to me, 'Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting me?' "'Who are you, lord?' I asked. "And the voice replied, 'I am Jesus the Nazarene' the one you are persecuting.' "I asked, 'What should I do, Lord' "And the Lord told me, 'Get up and go into Damascus, and there you will be told everything you are to do.'
So...that "bright light?" Well - it had left Paul (Saul) blind. In fact, he had to be led by the hand into Damascus by his traveling companions - all of whom witnessed the light, but did not understand the voice speaking to Paul from the heavens. Those words were for Paul alone. I love that the Lord speaks to just us, as individuals. Then and now.

When Paul and his companions enter Damascus, a godly man named Ananias came up to him, stood next to him and said, "Brother Saul, regain your sight." And Paul (Saul) could see once more! Amazing. Ananias went on to tell him:
"...'The God of our ancestors has chosen you to know his will and to see the Righteous One and hear him speak. For you are to be his witness, telling everyone what you have seen and heard.
And here's where I laughed out loud!
What are you waiting for?
I can almost hear Ananias saying it now!! I can picture him throwing his hands up in the air! Can't you? Take a moment and think about it...Ananias continues:
Get up and be baptized. Have your sins washed away by calling on the name of the Lord."
Given the fact that Paul is delivering this speech from chains, I think you know what he chose to do, right? What an awesome witness for the Lord!

And I sure appreciated the chuckle this morning!

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