A Believer In Damascus
02 February 2011
Today’s Reading: Exodus 33-34; Psalm 16; Acts 9
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.” (Acts 9:10-12 NLT)
The conversion of Saul of Tarsus to faith in Jesus Christ was without question one of the most significant events in the history of the world. He is responsible for assisting in planting the Antioch church – in my opinion the definitive New Testament church in the Bible, he launched the first intentional international response to the Great Commission, and he wrote most of what the Bible contains to help us understand how to live as Christ-followers in community. Yea for Paul!
But the whole thing could have failed to materialize without the courage and faith-response of a believer in Damascus named Ananias. Shortly after that it could have hit a dead-end without the care and courage of a believer in Jerusalem named Barnabas who trusted Saul and introduced him to the apostles. Yea for Ananias and Barnabas!
Not everybody gets to be Saul of Tarsus who became Paul the Apostle and helped shape the world as we know it. But everybody, including you and me, can be Ananias or Barnabas. When we let faith overcome fear and open our hearts enough to go out on a limb for others, God can make us part of his redemption story. Yea for Ordinary People like us who act in love and faith!
Father, Thanks for pointing out two true heroes of the faith to me this morning. I want to be more like Ananias and Barnabas. May my friends and I make room in our hearts for those who are outside our comfortable circle. May we be willing to go out on a limb to make room for others. Amen.