How Do You See God Working in “Them?” How does that affect your own faith?
Devotional Thought of the Day:
10 Now there was a believer in Damascus named Ananias. The Lord spoke to him in a vision, calling, “Ananias!” “Yes, Lord!” he replied. 11 The Lord said, “Go over to Straight Street, to the house of Judas. When you get there, ask for a man from Tarsus named Saul. He is praying to me right now. 12 I have shown him a vision of a man named Ananias coming in and laying hands on him so he can see again.” 13 “But Lord,” exclaimed Ananias, “I’ve heard many people talk about the terrible things this man has done to the believers in Jerusalem! 14 And he is authorized by the leading priests to arrest everyone who calls upon your name.” 15 But the Lord said, “Go, for Saul is my chosen instrument to take my message to the Gentiles and to kings, as well as to the people of Israel. 16 And I will show him how much he must suffer for my name’s sake.” 17 So Ananias went and found Saul. He laid his hands on him and said, “Brother Saul, the Lord Jesus, who appeared to you on the road, has sent me so that you might regain your sight and be filled with the Holy Spirit.” 18 Instantly something like scales fell from Saul’s eyes, and he regained his sight. Then he got up and was baptized. 19 Afterward he ate some food and regained his strength. Saul stayed with the believers in Damascus for a few days.
Acts 9:10-19 (NLT2)
675 It’s true that he was a sinner. But don’t pass so final a judgment. Have pity in your heart and don’t forget that he may yet be an Augustine, while you remain just another mediocrity.
How can we hate people as much as we do? Just a glimpse on social media this morning, I see people attacking homeless, immigrants, the President, the House of Representatives (both sides), athletes, Muslims, conservative Christians, those who have had abortions, those who are pro-life, Hollywood and Netflix, people who liked the new Star wars, and those that found major issues with it.
It is spiritually exhausting, all this hatred.
We not only judge their actions, but we also condemn them and assume they are and will always be demonic.
It is as if we don’t believe God is capable of turning them as if God has never had to deal with sinners before, and is incapable of transforming them into saints.
Ananias needed to be converted as much as Saul did. His reluctance shows it, as his faith wasn’t in the God who was transforming him. Did he think God didn’t know who He was sending him to baptize?
Do we believe God does not desire these people we hate to come to faith, to repent, to be transformed?
If we did believe their salvation was possible, would we spew our hatred out on Facebook and Twitter the way we do? Would we try to justify it when we are challenged on our words and actions?
I would imagine this affects us more than we know, go if we realized God could save them, then perhaps we wouldn’t hesitate to go to God, confessing our own sins, our own darkness, our own doubts.
We need to be cleansed of all sin, and all unrighteousness, including our doubt that God can save all people, that the cross paid for all sin. That in Christ, all can be considered holy. The more we trust in HIm to save and transform others, the more we will see what He is doing in us.
Trust Him, He is at work, seeking to save the lost, all of us.
Escriva, Josemaria. The Way . Scepter Publishers. Kindle Edition.