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September 5, 2018, 9:21 AM

Get Up & Go!

Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.

“A light… a voice(Acts 9:3-4).

The 8th chapter of Acts is a fascinating account of successful evangelism. In a whole town (8:4-8) and in a single heart (8:24-39) there was rejoicing, as people came to know Jesus as Savior through the witness of His dedicated followers. Then Chapter 9 begins, “Meanwhile, Saul was still breathing out murderous threats against the Lord’s disciples.” You can count on it – whenever the Spirit is working, the devil will be busy too, doing everything he can to oppose and hinder the progress of the Kingdom. But Satan is no match for the Savior! In Acts 9:1-9 the conversion of the archenemy of the gospel is recorded. And in this story the elements of conversion are revealed.

1. One element of conversion is a shining “light”. As Saul “neared Damascus on his journey, suddenly a light from heaven flashed around him” (v. 3). Later, telling the story himself, Paul described the light as brighter than the sun” (Acts 26:13). The source of the light is emphasized. It was “from heaven.” God’s light, the glory of the risen Jesus, flashed suddenly upon the darkness of Saul’s heart and life. The strength of the light is also underscored. “He fell to the ground” and “he was blind” (vv. 4, 9). He was blind, not by the absence of light, but by the excess of glory which blazed upon him. While the experience of Saul was never reproduced in exact detail, everyone who is saved has seen a light from heaven. The light of Scripture (Psalm 119:105), and the Light which is Jesus (John 9:5), blinds them to former ways and values and illumines for them the way of God and new life.

2. Another element of conversion is a speaking “voice”. Verse 4 declares, “He fell to the ground and heard a voice say to him, ‘Saul, Saul, why do you persecute me?’” The voice spoke to him personally: “Saul, Saul.” He was called by name. We are not just parts of a crowd, we are individuals to whom the Lord speaks personally. The voice spoke to him searchingly: “Why do you persecute me?” The Lord speaks to name and condemn our specific wrongdoing. He probes for the reason behind our wickedness. He comes asking “Why?” and compels us to think on our ways. The voice spoke to him authoritatively: “You will be told what you must do” (v. 6). Jesus speaks as Lord. He will not be the Savior of the unsurrendered life. He comes to tell us what we must do to be saved. Again, the experience of Saul was not reproduced exactly in anyone’s life. But all who get saved hear a voice speaking to them. Sometimes God speaks through Scripture, sometimes through preaching, sometimes through the witness of a friend, and always through Jesus Christ and by the Holy Spirit. Our destiny, in this world and the next, hinges upon the response we make to the voice of the Lord.

Like Saul, you are on a journey. Life doesn’t stand still. You are a pilgrim headed for eternity. A light is shining, the light of God’s Word as it bears its witness to Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior. And a voice is speaking to your heart and in your conscience – the voice of the Holy Spirit calling you to repent of your sins and trust in the Savior, calling you to bring your life under the Lordship of Jesus. “Now get up and go” (v. 6)! Go with new life, and with the joy, peace, and hope which that new life brings!

Let’s pray: Dear Lord, grant me absolution and remission for all my sins, true repentance, amendment of life and the grace and consolation of your Holy Spirit. Amen.

You are Loved!

Pastor Jason Stevens

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