Daily Devotions

Then [Paul] said, “The God of our ancestors has chosen you to know his will, to see the Righteous One and to hear his own voice; for you will be his witness to all the world of what you have seen and heard. And now why do you delay? Get up, be baptized, and have your sins washed away, calling on his name.” Acts 22:14-16 (NRSV)

 

Then [Paul] said, “The God of our ancestors has chosen you to know his will, to see the Righteous One and to hear his own voice; for you will be his witness to all the world of what you have seen and heard. And now why do you delay? Get up, be baptized, and have your sins washed away, calling on his name.” Acts 22:14-16 (NRSV)

You, Too

Paul, the roving Apostle to the Gentiles, has been retelling his personal conversion story to the skeptical authorities back in Jerusalem. There he was jailed and brought before a Roman tribune and the City Council, and soon would face the Governor himself. Paul has played his ‘Roman Citizenship’ card, and trotted out his old, learned, ‘Pharisee’ credentials, to mixed reviews. In the following chapter, there is an outright plot to assassinate Paul, and soon he gets shipped off to Rome.

Amid such life-threatening political turmoil, Paul keeps trying to offer his opponents the Good News: God has chosen YOU; God wants to enlighten YOU; God has a job for YOU. “Get up, be baptized, and have your sins washed away, calling on his name.”

Paul never met Jesus—never heard the Sermon on the Mount in person. But he had seen the Righteous One in a vision, and heard His life-changing voice. Paul clearly ‘got’ Jesus’ message, Matthew 5:44— But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you” (KJV).

Come, Holy Spirit. In this new year, show me the way to love my enemies and to pray for people who persecute me; in Jesus’ name, Amen.

Pastor Jim revjimerdman@livinglord.org

Prayer Concern: Pray for those who work for peace and reconciliation between enemies

Additional Readings: Psalm 69:1-5, 30-36 and Exodus 30:22-28

Connecting with God, Connecting with Others and Connecting with what God is doing in the World