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Sunday, October 9, 2016

And Such Were Some Of You - Devotional

 And Such Were Some Of You

Have you ever heard the bible story about Saul in the new testament?  Saul believed himself to be righteous in living for God as he went about persecuting and killing Christians.  He was a religious man, a Pharisee who had the authority of the Sanhedrin to persecute anyone who  did not uphold their beliefs.  The Christians feared  him and fled at his appearing , but something happened one day that changed  Saul's whole life.  
There was  great persecution against the Christians.  In fear they  scattered throughout Judea and Samaria.  Saul went house to house threatening to kill Christians and persecuting families throwing them into prison.  This was very soon after the stoning of Steven who was stoned to death,  but prayed for those stoning him.   
Christians must have been praying for their deliverance and help from God because God himself confronted Saul on the road to Damascus.  It was the day that Saul's life was changed forever.  Saul believed He was serving God, but instead He was working against God.  Saul was deceived into a wrong religion.  He needed to know Jesus.  Saul was blinded to truth already and  God also blinded him physically  on the road to Damascus.  We are all blinded to truth until God opens our eyes.  Many people believe they serve God and know God but, they are not alive to God. They are still dead in their trespasses and sins.   See Saul (Paul)  thought  He was doing the work of the Lord, but instead He was serving Satan in the name of God.  God was merciful to his children and also to Saul.  
God spoke directly to Saul and asked him why He was persecuting Him.   

Acts  9:4   And he fell to the earth, and heard a voice saying unto him, Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou me?

 He needed to understand that He was wrong and hurting Christ by hurting his people.  Saul was blinded and needed to be lead by the hand.  
Saul believed God and prayed. Then God sent Him Ananias, who was a Man of God.   Ananias called Saul brother, which means He became part of the family of God.  Saul's eyes were opened spiritually to God for the very first time.  He was still blinded physically but his eyes were spiritually opened to the truth of Christ.  Ananias was there to pray over Saul , to restore his site and that Saul would be filled with the Holy Ghost.  Saul became a preacher of God that day.
Saul had problems at first being accepted by Christians because they feared him.  He was known for persecuting Christians.  Many people are known for something before they become faithful to Christ but, because of God's great  forgiveness we are given a new start .  Saul was accepted and forgiven  and was received into the family of Christ.  He became a great hero of the faith that we read about in the scriptures.  God has changed the life of many who once were fooled by false religions or ideas that kept them blind to God and his love.  
We are all guilty of sin and if we remain without Christ, we will be held accountable for our sins.  The payment for sin is death, meaning an eternal death, an eternity in hell.  God does not want that for anyone.  He desires that all people be saved.  
We become righteous in God's sight when we accept Christ.  See true belief will give birth to good works and a desire to please God with our lives.  
In the following verses I especially want you to take notice of verse 11 where it says, " And such were some of you".   

1Corinthians 6:9-11
Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God?  Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind,Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God.  And such were some of you: but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God.

Saul was a violent man who had killed Christians
The Christians didn't believe Saul was saved  and they had to be persuaded to accept him into the family of God.  They had to forgive someone who hurt their families and friends.  They prayed and made a decision to forgive.  They did forgive him and He became a great leader of righteousness.

Are you someone who thinks God wouldn't forgive someone like you, someone who wants to know if your trusting in the right things, believing the right things?  Maybe this is your wakeup call.  Saul had a wakeup call and He believed and became a great man of God.  He was given a new name.  Paul, the Apostle of Christ.

Are you someone who has not continued in the faith of Christ, someone who has wandered away from right living.  You're a believer, but you've messed up.  If you were truly his child, He will not leave you alone, He will not let you live at peace with your sin, He will chasten you until you are sorrowful over what sin does.  He chastens those he loves.  He spanks us so to speak, only sometimes worse than that.  It all depends on what it takes to get you home.  It may be a gentle reminder or a near death, a wake up call.  See if you were once his child you are always his child.  He will never leave us nor forsake us. We are sealed until the day of redemption, Once you are born into the family of God, you don't get aborted, The only thing that blots you out of the book of life.  Is the rejection of Christ, because it's what Christ did that saved us and it's what he did for us that keeps us saved.

Devotional: Susan Y. Nikitenko ©
October 9th, 2016
Acts Chapter 9

 2Peter 3:9
The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.

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