Paul

Don’t Count Them Out

I believe in GRACE, ESPECIALLY for the people who some might call the “underdog.”  I believe that Jesus offers grace and salvation for EVERYONE and not just people who look like they deserve it.  I was reading Acts this morning and I remembered the story of Paul being converted into a Christian.  During the process of conversion God told someone named Ananias to go and meet Saul/Paul.  Here is what happened: Acts 9:10-14

10 Now there was a believer[b] in Damascus named Ananias. The Lord spoke to him in a vision, calling,“Ananias!” “Yes, Lord!” he replied.  11 The Lord said, “Go over to Straight Street, to the house of Judas. When you get there, ask for a man from Tarsus named Saul. He is praying to me right now. 12 I have shown him a vision of a man named Ananias coming in and laying hands on him so he can see again.”  13 “But Lord,” exclaimed Ananias, “I’ve heard many people talk about the terrible things this man has done to the believers[c] in Jerusalem! 14 And he is authorized by the leading priests to arrest everyone who calls upon your name.”

For the sake of this post I want to focus on Ananias’ response to God.  So, a little more history: Paul was a man that persecuted Christians, he was actually on the way to do this very thing when God intervened and spoke to him saying “Saul why do you persecute me?”  This is were Saul had an encounter with God and came to know who Jesus was.  Meanwhile, God was talking to Ananias shortly after this and he told him to go meet Saul to lay hands on him so that he can see again because he lost his sight when he had the encounter on the way to Damascus.

Ananias answered God by saying all of the terrible things that he had heard about Saul.  How often do we encounter people that we have heard negative things about and count them out of being a candidate for God’s grace? How many times do we see people who don’t look like they can be helped? How many times do we send someone to hell because of their past and what we’ve heard about them?

V 16 “But the Lord said, “Go, for Saul is my chosen instrument to take my message to the Gentiles and to kings, as well as to the people of Israel.”

We often forget that we ourselves have NOT been saved all of our lives! There was a point of conversion or an encounter where Jesus turned our lives around. So this is to encourage you that no matter what a person has done, what you have heard about them, or what you THINK they deserve…Remember that until this life is over, they still have a chance.

Don’t count anyone out!

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Small or Low?

What’s the first definition that comes to your mind when you hear the word humble? For me, it meant to make myself small.  Yesterday I posted something on FB, that said “Thinking of yourself as small is NOT humility, it is a tactic for you to not come into the realization of who you REALLY are.”

This post came from me looking at a task that was presented to me, then looking at the other people who had the same task, comparing myself, and coming to the conclusion that I could not do it as well as them because their names were bigger and I was “JUST” me.

However, I had been studying David (I’ll post the scripture below) and when he went to go fight Goliath, Saul said you’re “ONLY” a boy.  David did not accept “only” and went on to tell Saul who he served and how God had been with him with the lion and the bear.  He was so confident in who he was that though he was only a boy, he knew that God had him covered.  In that moment where I thought of myself as small I remembered David, and got a boost of confidence in the one who told me to complete the task in the first place.

I wanted to study what humility actually meant after that and here’s what I found.

I wanted to know what living a humbled life looked like, and I found this scripture.

Philippians 2:5-8

Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus,[a] who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant,[b] being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.

1. Jesus emptied himself.

2. Jesus made himself a servant.

3. Jesus was Obedient.

I found out that “humble” in this context originally means to be God reliant instead of self reliant, and to have an inner LOWLINESS.

Here’s the point of this blog lol.

Small: Limited size, restricted dimensions, not great in amount or value.

Low: Situated, placed, or below general level.

We are not called to be small, because if you’re truly humble then that means that you are GOD reliant and if you lower yourself underneath him then you won’t be restricted, or limited in what you have to do for him.

1 Peter 5:6

Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time he may exalt you,

Lower yourself under the submission of God, not only is this a humble position but it is a position of protection as well.  People get on the ground when bullets are flying because the lower you are, the less likely you are to be a target.

Isaiah 54:17

17     no weapon that is fashioned against you shall succeed,
    and you shall refute every tongue that rises against you in judgment.
This is the heritage of the servants of the Lord
    and their vindication[a] from me, declares the Lord.”

I found out that “against” means “above” or “over,” and when you’re UNDER the hand of God protection is what you will receive for taking that position of true humility and being a servant.

YOU ARE NOT SMALL…JUST GET LOW. 🙂