Posts Tagged ‘Damascus’


Genesis14:14-16,18-24 When Abram heard that his relative had been taken captive, he led out his trained men, born in his house, three hundred and eighteen, and went in pursuit as far as Dan. He divided his forces against them by night, he and his servants, and defeated them, and pursued them as far as Hobah, which is north of Damascus. He brought back all the goods, and also brought back his relative Lot with his possessions, and also the women, and the people… And Melchizedek king of Salem brought out bread and wine; now he was a priest of God Most High. He blessed him and said, “Blessed be Abram of God Most High, Possessor of heaven and earth; And blessed be God Most High, Who has delivered your enemies into your hand.” He gave him a tenth of all. The king of Sodom said to Abram, “Give the people to me and take the goods for yourself.” Abram said to the king of Sodom, “I have sworn to the LORD God Most High, possessor of heaven and earth, that I will not take a thread or a sandal thong or anything that is yours, for fear you would say, ‘I have made Abram rich.’ “I will take nothing except what the young men have eaten, and the share of the men who went with me, Aner, Eshcol, and Mamre; let them take their share.”

I’m wondering what took me so many years to study the Bible a little more intently as I am doing now and I regret the time I lost and the many opportunities lost with it to share God’s riches with those I am blessed to fellowship with. However, when I do consider Abram and the age at which God was using him so powerfully, I do believe that it is never too late and God continues to be in control of our lives and His will for us 🙂

Here is the tale of a bitter-sweet victory for Abram and the people of Soddom as they first lost many and were restored few along with their possessions. Abram achieves victory over the 5 kings with only his 300+ men whereas the 4 kings and their troops from Sodom and Gomorrah were no match to these same 5 kings.

Obviously God’s hand is visible in Abram’s victory and what a fitting response that this victory was marked by honoring God through the feast that followed.

The question that hung in my mind was why Melchizedek brought out bread and wine to celebrate and why did Abram refuse the gifts offered? (more…)


Galatians 1:15-17, 22-24
But when God, who set me apart from birth and called me by his grace, was pleased to reveal his Son in me so that I might preach him among the Gentiles, I did not consult any man, nor did I go up to Jerusalem to see those who were apostles before I was, but I went immediately into Arabia and later returned to Damascus… I was personally unknown to the churches of Judea that are in Christ. They only heard the report: “The man who formerly persecuted us is now preaching the faith he once tried to destroy.” And they praised God because of me.

Salvation is a choice or are we chosen by God is a debate that has gone on for a long time among Christians because it then means we have or do not have the freedom of choice. Paul states in his letter that he was set apart from birth by God and called into God’s presence by God’s grace which means that Paul had little choice about the matter. However, we also need to remember that Paul lived a life that was causing more harm than good to the children of God before his conversion and God did not stop him until the day he was traveling on the road to Damascus. So now we know that Paul did have choice but eventually did not. What is God trying to say to us?

We will never fully understand God because we are limited by our human minds but we will continue to learn about God as we seek him every moment. We know that God’s purposes will be achieved no matter what and that every knee will bow before Him and acknowledge Him as God because His word states that. In that assurance we can rest and we can continue to share the gospel for we know not who might and might not accept Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior but we do know that the Lord’s name will be glorified and He has won the final battle over Satan and sin. I pray people will know me as a sinner saved by God’s grace and that Christ will be glorified as I continue to yearn for Him and serve Him with my mind, body and spirit.

In His Loving Service,
ServantBoy

Jeremiah 1:5 “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, And before you were born I consecrated you; I have appointed you a prophet to the nations.”


Acts 22:2-5
When they heard him speak to them in Aramaic, they became very quiet. Then Paul said: “I am a Jew, born in Tarsus of Cilicia, but brought up in this city. Under Gamaliel I was thoroughly trained in the law of our fathers and was just as zealous for God as any of you are today. I persecuted the followers of this Way to their death, arresting both men and women and throwing them into prison, as also the high priest and all the Council can testify. I even obtained letters from them to their brothers in Damascus, and went there to bring these people as prisoners to Jerusalem to be punished.

After Paul’s arrest, he requested an opportunity to speak with his accusers and this passage was the start of his response to them. Two things that stood out to me in this passage were the language he spoke and his introduction. Aramaic was the language of the common folk and was understood by the locals regardless of their own tongues. It was like a local from the province I live in speak with in a dialect of English with the intonation, accent and figures of speech only a local could speak in. His introduction was an effective way for him to strike a chord with the locals to equate him to them. Was Paul trying to buy favor in their eyes and what was the outcome?

Paul’s intent was not to buy favor but to show his accusers that he started where they are but God transformed him to what He wanted him to be. This was not Paul’s way of saving his skin but instead of sharing the gospel. Is is not amazing how God used the unwanted situation Paul got himself into by accepting to perform rituals to convince the Jews. God uses us to bring himself glory and this could at times cost us. However, the price we pay will never come close to God’s sacrifice for us. When we realize what God saved us from, as Paul explains of himself, then we appreciate what God is doing in and through us. Our reward is in heaven with Jesus and not here on earth. Lets always keep that in mind and serve God wholeheartedly.

In His Loving Service,
ServantBoy

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Acts 9:17-18, 20, 33-34, 40
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.” Immediately, something like scales fell from Saul’s eyes, and he could see again…At once he began to preach in the synagogues that Jesus is the Son of God…There he found a man named Aeneas, a paralytic who had been bedridden for eight years. “Aeneas,” Peter said to him, “Jesus Christ heals you. Get up and take care of your mat.” Immediately Aeneas got up…Peter sent them all out of the room; then he got down on his knees and prayed. Turning toward the dead woman, he said, “Tabitha, get up.” She opened her eyes, and seeing Peter she sat up.

I apologize for often sending cryptic passages from the chapter. The intent is to give you a sense of where I am coming from but it must be difficult to decipher the “code”. As I read today’s chapter, the sense I got was that the disciples were sounding more like superheroes again and the people who were witness to these incidents might be confused whether to put their faith in the disciples or in Jesus because they were performing astounding miracles. Saul was blinded and then received sight through Ananias’ touch, Aeneas, a paralytic was able to walk again by Peter’s command and finally Tabitha who died before Peter’s arrival was brought to life by Peter’s command. Why was God working through specific people and what is he saying to us today?

I’ve often noticed ads in newspapers from people who have received blessings for prayer needs and the credit goes to St. Peter, or St. John, etc. This was also something I remember being told when I was a child and lost something, that I was to recite a prayer and I would get it back and then I was to be indebted to the saint who brought it about. Upon reading these miracles, it is easy for people to put their faith in the miracle workers instead of the one who gives them the ability, Jesus Christ. Jesus said and the disciples maintained that he is the way, the truth and the life and no one goes to the father except through him. The disciples worked through the power of the Holy Spirit for the glory of God and so can we. Our focus should be on Jesus alone and our faith should be in him, not in the miracles or the ones who performed it on God’s behalf. Saul was chosen by God for his glory as it says in verse 15 & 16.

In His Loving Service,
Vineet

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