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DAILY DEVOTIONAL – Sunday, May 22, 2016
Today’s scripture reading:
It is difficult to change your reputation, and Saul had a terrible reputation with the Christians. But Barnabas, a Jewish convert, became the bridge between Saul and the apostles. New Christians (especially those with tarnished reputations) need sponsors, people who will come alongside, encourage, teach, and introduce them to other believers. Find ways that you can become a Barnabas to new believers. (NLT)
Acts 9:19-28 – Afterward he ate some food and was strengthened. Saul stayed with the believers in Damascus for a few days. And immediately he began preaching about Jesus in the synagogues, saying, “He is indeed the Son of God!”
All who heard him were amazed. “Isn’t this the same man who persecuted Jesus’ followers with such devastation in Jerusalem?” they asked. “And we understand that he came here to arrest them and take them in chains to the leading priests.”
Saul’s preaching became more and more powerful, and the Jews in Damascus couldn’t refute his proofs that Jesus was indeed the Messiah. After a while the Jewish leaders decided to kill him. But Saul was told about their plot, and that they were watching for him day and night at the city gate so they could murder him. So during the night, some of the other believers let him down in a large basket through an opening in the city wall.
When Saul arrived in Jerusalem, he tried to meet with the believers, but they were all afraid of him. They thought he was only pretending to be a believer! Then Barnabas brought him to the apostles and told them how Saul had seen the Lord on the way to Damascus. Barnabas also told them what the Lord has said to Saul and how he boldly preached in the name of Jesus in Damascus. Then the apostles accepted Saul, and after that he was constantly with them in Jerusalem, preaching boldly in the name of the Lord.
Ruth Anne Burrell (Kansas) titled her story “LEFTOVERS OR NEW BEGINNINGS?” Here is a portion of Ruth Anne’s story:
“. . . God doesn’t care about what background we come from; God accepts everyone. Yet, too often, we reject new believers because of their past mistakes, God desires that we look beyond their messy-looking leftovers to the beautiful creations they are becoming through the touch of God’s loving hands.”
THOUGHT FOR THE DAY – God doesn’t care wehre I’ve been – only where I’m going.
Prayer: O God, help us learn to see others through your eyes. Teach us to see them for the wonderful people you are molding them – and us – to be. Amen.
To read the rest of the story in The Upper Room, click on the following link: http://devotional.upperroom.org/
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