Great Plains Daily Devotional for 5/6/19

Today please be in prayer for

Dennis Carter
Ellsworth: First UMC
Kanopolis UMC
Hutchinson District
Guy Rendoff
Geneseo UMC
Hutchinson District
Morita Truman
Great Bend First UMC
Hutchinson District
Laurie White
Great Bend King UMC
Hutchinson District

Today's Lectionary Text

Acts 9:19-31 

and after taking some food, he regained his strength.

For several days he was with the disciples in Damascus, and immediately he began to proclaim Jesus in the synagogues, saying, “He is the Son of God.” All who heard him were amazed and said, “Is not this the man who made havoc in Jerusalem among those who invoked this name? And has he not come here for the purpose of bringing them bound before the chief priests?” Saul became increasingly more powerful and confounded the Jews who lived in Damascus by proving that Jesuswas the Messiah.

After some time had passed, the Jews plotted to kill him, but their plot became known to Saul. They were watching the gates day and night so that they might kill him; but his disciples took him by night and let him down through an opening in the wall, lowering him in a basket.

When he had come to Jerusalem, he attempted to join the disciples; and they were all afraid of him, for they did not believe that he was a disciple. But Barnabas took him, brought him to the apostles, and described for them how on the road he had seen the Lord, who had spoken to him, and how in Damascus he had spoken boldly in the name of Jesus. So he went in and out among them in Jerusalem, speaking boldly in the name of the Lord. He spoke and argued with the Hellenists; but they were attempting to kill him. When the believers learned of it, they brought him down to Caesarea and sent him off to Tarsus.

Meanwhile the church throughout Judea, Galilee, and Samaria had peace and was built up. Living in the fear of the Lord and in the comfort of the Holy Spirit, it increased in numbers.

Today's Devotional

Have you ever gone back to your high school or college reunion wonder or even afraid that people will remember who were and what you did in school? I am writing about those things that you got into trouble for something you did or said?

Well in September 2017, Bonnie and I went to my 50th class reunion of my high school. I remembered several of the things I had done in school and I was sure others would also remember, and they would say something that would hurt. But it didn’t happen.

Paul must have had some of the same kind of thoughts as he remembered his acts before he met Christ on the road to Damascus. In the following verses we read how some of the people of Damascus thought about Saul, now known as Paul:

For several days he was with the disciples in Damascus, 20 and immediately he began to proclaim Jesus in the synagogues, saying, “He is the Son of God.” 21 All who heard him were amazed and said, “Is not this the man who made havoc in Jerusalem among those who invoked this name? And has he not come here for the purpose of bringing them bound before the chief priests?” 22 Saul became increasingly more powerful and confounded the Jews who lived in Damascus by proving that Jesus was the Messiah. (NRSV)

Paul had the same issue, when he went up to Jerusalem to meet with the disciples:

26 When he had come to Jerusalem, he attempted to join the disciples; and they were all afraid of him, for they did not believe that he was a disciple. 27 But Barnabas took him, brought him to the apostles, and described for them how on the road he had seen the Lord, who had spoken to him, and how in Damascus he had spoken boldly in the name of Jesus. 28 So he went in and out among them in Jerusalem, speaking boldly in the name of the Lord. 29 He spoke and argued with the Hellenists; but they were attempting to kill him. 30 When the believers[d]learned of it, they brought him down to Caesarea and sent him off to Tarsus. (NRSV)

Isn’t it great that God forgives us our sins and takes them away? He heals the past and transforms us into the people he wants and needs us to be.

--Rev. Dennis “Buck” Linton-Hendrick 
P
astor of the Harvard/Inland/Trumbull, Nebraska, UMCs

Prayer for Reflection

Christ Jesus our Lord and Savior, thank you for your salvation and the transformation you bestow to each of us. Come Lord Jesus and help us to accept your healing and our becoming a new creation through you. In your name I pray. Amen.
 

 

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