The Unlikely Chosen

Then he told me, “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.” – (Acts 22:14-15, NLT)

Ananias told me, “The God of our fathers chose you long ago to know His plan. He chose you to see the Righteous One and to hear words from Him. You will be His witness to all people. You will tell them what you have seen and heard.” – (Acts 22:14-15, ERV)

Then he said, “You have been chosen by the God of our ancestors to know His will, to see the Righteous One, and to hear the voice of God. You will tell the story of what you have seen and heard to the whole world.” – (Acts 22:14-15, VOICE)

 

Paul, who was previously known as Saul, had a divine encounter with God on the road to Damascus. His experience interrupted his entire system of belief. Where Paul had been persecuting people who were claiming this new Way, rather than living by a strict code of rules and rituals, he now too, had a first-hand encounter with the living God, and could not go back to what he formerly had known. God chooses seemingly unlikely people to interrupt in their tracks and touch hearts and lives. The incredible thing is, no one can dispute our own personal experiences. I imagine that is what made Paul’s testimony so powerful. People knew who Paul had been, were seeing a man transformed, speaking of grace and forgiveness, where he had once likely spoken of following the law or else. The remainder of his life was used to do exactly that – to tell the whole world of what he had seen and heard. Paul traveled far and wide for the times, and recorded much of God’s faithfulness in the New Testament. May we walk out our days with hearts wide open, ever willing to share our own story of God’s faithfulness to us.

 

With eyes wide open, Chosen With Purpose

May we walk along;

Trusting our Savior,

As He makes us strong.

When chances arise,

Share His faithfulness;

So others may know,

There’s help in the mess.

Help us to love well,

Be Your heart and hands;

Extend hope to those,

Who need see Your plan.

For You are so good,

No matter what comes;

Let us rest in You,

’til each day is done.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You do not call the equipped, but You equip the called. Thank You that we do not have to measure up to serve and honor You, but rather You transform us from the inside out as we pursue a life in You. Forgive us for anything that gets in the way of walking out that which You are calling us to do. Teach us to trust You more, so that we would listen and obey. Show us how to love those around us in a way that points hearts to You. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we tell our own stories of Your faithfulness in our lives so that people may know of Your goodness and grace. Amen.

 

© Shannon Elizabeth Moreno and Revelations in Writing, May 2011 – present

 

Listen… be wise, and keep your heart on the right path. – Proverbs 23:19

Decide to Trust

Not only is the story of Paul’s conversion a remarkable one for him, but those who were involved, made monumental decisions of obedience in order for Saul’s sight to be restored and his new identity in Christ to come to pass. Ananias, whom the Lord had called to go to Saul to restore his sight, knew of Saul’s reputation. Ananias had reason to fear interaction with Saul, as Saul had been chasing down Christians, persecuting and imprisoning them. However, Ananias was faithful, and his trust in God was greater than his fear of man. When God told him that the man he was to heal was His chosen instrument to carry His Name before many, Ananias opted to obey.

 

Then Ananias went to the house and entered it. Placing his hands on Saul, he said, “Brother Saul, the Lord – Jesus, who appeared to you on the road as you were coming here – has sent me so that you may see again and be filled with the Holy Spirit.” – (Acts 9:17)

 

Not only did Ananias obey, but he greeted Saul in love. By calling him Brother Saul, he was already demonstrating an acceptance through Christ, despite all the despicable deeds he had done. It is not always easy to extend acceptance to others who enter in, especially when we are unsure of their motives. Yes, wisdom must be exercised, but if we listen to the Lord and lean on Him, He will teach us how to trust Him and how to love others as He would have us do. May we listen well, so that we can love others as He calls us to love.

 

Despite appearance,Decide to Trust

give trust to the Lord;

for we do not know,

the plans He’ll afford.

Christ extends much grace,

where we would choose not;

and uses the changed,

so we might be taught.

The Lord’s mighty hand,

can transform the hard;

makes a mighty force,

not to disregard.

Seek to understand,

the Lord’s will, unseen;

obey what He asks,

as His plan is seen.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You for loving us, in spite of our sinfulness. Thank You that You call us to come before You, and You love us to life. Thank You that just as You have loved us to life, You desire the same for all who are still stuck in their sinfulness. Forgive us for fearing approach those whom have been in darkness unknown to us, or for questioning the motives of those whom have pasts that are different than our own. Teach us to trust You more, so that we might listen well to hear Your instruction, and be quick to obey whatever You ask. May we love well, all whom we encounter, just as You so generously love us. Let the lost be found forever in You. Be glorified, Lord God, as we seek to step out in obedience. Amen.

© Shannon Elizabeth Moreno and Revelations in Writing, May 2011 – present.

Taste and see that the Lord is good; blessed is the man who takes refuge in Him. – Psalm 34:8

Trust in the Turmoil

Ananias called to strike,

image by My Biblical Guidance

image by My Biblical Guidance

the mouth of faithful Paul.

He said to him, “You’ll be struck,

by God, you white-washed wall!”

“Seated judging by the laws,

yet command me be struck?”

The people called back to him,

“he is the high priest, you schmuck.”

Paul recognized his error,

and quoted from God’s word,

“speak no evil of rulers,”

truth spoken, now was heard.

Paul knew the crowd divided,

with varying beliefs.

Pharisees and Sadducees,

dispute brought Paul relief.

The fight became so violent,

commander was afraid,

Paul’d be torn to pieces,

by troops way had to be made.

The next night in the barracks,

in guarded custody,

the Lord came and stood near Paul,

to uplift his ministry.

Those jealous Jews were schemers,

oath for murderous plot.

More than forty men involved,

Paul’s nephew, their plan caught.

He brought word to his uncle,

who took him at his word.

Boy then went to commander,

to tell what he had heard.

The evil plot prevented,

and Paul safely to Rome.

More leaders to hear God’s truth,

and Paul was going home. (sort of)

(Responding to Acts 23)

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You yet again, for fabulous examples of Your faithfulness, and the faithfulness that You placed in the hearts of those who believed.  Despite the chaos and crowds that had likely shaken Paul a bit the day prior, I imagine any trepidation or turmoil was torn away, when You came and stood beside him.  Forgive us for forgetting that the very same You that stood beside Paul, dwells in the heart of every one of us who believes!  Teach us to trust and realize the strength, power and protection that we have, that is provided in You.  Help our hearts to be ever-listening to hear Your voice, and our will, always ready to be obedient to act.  May many come to know You as Savior and King, as we walk in obedience, loving others as You love us.  Amen.

© Shannon Elizabeth Moreno and Revelations in Writing, May 2011 – present

On the Road to Damascus

Journey on Damascus road.

image by David Bane

image by David Bane

Heart full of a vengeful load.

Saul met Light that did explode.

He fell to the ground that day.

“Why do you persecute me?”

“Who are you Lord? I can’t see.”

“Jesus, God eternally.”

“Get up now, be on your way.”

Companions stood there speechless.

As his sight was now reachless.

They led him off, the teachless.

To Damascus for three days.

God spoke to Ananias.

“But Lord, he wants to fry us!”

“Go heal and teach of Jesus.

And he’ll turn and change his ways.”

In obedience he went.

Saul knew he was heaven sent.

With healing he did repent.

And then gave God all his praise.

WIth the scales gone from his eyes,

he was baptized, turned from lies.

God equipped him to be wise.

To God, his whole life he raised.

(Responding to Acts 9:1-19)

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that while we were yet sinners, You interrupted our space of being stuck to show us Your grace.  Thank You that it is Your love that lights our path and pulls us out of the miry muck.  Forgive us for forgetting or taking for granted the gifts of grace and guidance You give to us.  Please help us to hear Your heart, and be quick to do as You ask.  Teach us to trust You more in all things and at all times.  May our obedient movement make room for many to come to know You as Hope and Healer.  Amen.

© Shannon Elizabeth Moreno and Revelations in Writing, May 2011 – present