Posts Tagged ‘Tarsus’


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

PS: Sign up for daily devotionals by clicking the email subscription icon at the top right of this page or by visiting this group. Also, share it with your friends and family who need some encouragement and direction in their lives.

Advertisements

Acts 11:22-26
News of this reached the ears of the church at Jerusalem, and they sent Barnabas to Antioch. When he arrived and saw the evidence of the grace of God, he was glad and encouraged them all to remain true to the Lord with all their hearts. He was a good man, full of the Holy Spirit and faith, and a great number of people were brought to the Lord. Then Barnabas went to Tarsus to look for Saul, and when he found him, he brought him to Antioch. So for a whole year Barnabas and Saul met with the church and taught great numbers of people. The disciples were called Christians first at Antioch.

The news that brought Barnabas out to Antioch from the comforts of his home was that of Christ being preached and many submitting their lives to God’s leading in places as far as Phoenicia, Cyprus and Antioch. It says that Barnabas was a good man, full of the Holy Spirit and faith and a great number of people were brought to the Lord through him. That sounds fair and investing him into that ministry was a great idea but why Saul? The last time he tried, he was getting in trouble with the officials and had to taken away in hiding by the believers there. What was the Lord doing and what is his direction to us today through this passage?

In recent weeks, I’ve been raving about the training I’ve been receiving at my new job. The content is from top educational institutions and the investment in time and resources by my bank in me is something I can never imagine. It’s something I know God blessed me with and was not because of anything I did or deserved. However, when I compare this to the awesomeness of my Christian education through God’s own words, nothing compares! What is most amazing is that God invests his Holy Spirit in people who themselves may not make the worldly cut for their roles but God uses them to glorify himself. We’re all broken clay pots restored by the Holy Spirit for God’s use. Lets go out and fulfill God’s call in our lives to impact the generations for HIM!

In His Loving Service,
Vineet

PS: Sign up for daily devotionals by clicking the email subscription icon at the top right of this page or by visiting this group. Also, share it with your friends and family who need some encouragement and direction in their lives.