ACTS – The Acts of God
I never seem to have the right tool to measure when I attempt any project that comes along. I spend a lot of time converting to another form of measurement to make it work. We do this in cooking, sewing, and building. For example, when we convert from inches to centimeters, we are essentially looking at the same raw material, we are just giving it value in a different way.
When people convert we now use a different form of measurement in light of the transformation of the Holy Spirit. What a difference the Holy Spirit makes in a person who has repented and has turned in the opposite direction he/she was traveling before accepting Christ!
Saul converted to the Way of Jesus Christ. He was filled with the Holy Spirit. The other Christians now need to look at him in a new way using a different form to measure his value in the community of believers. Saul turns from a raging bull to a passionate preacher in a matter of a few days. What a difference the Holy Spirit makes in all who turn around in a “180” to face Christ and follow Him! But it is too fast for some believers.
The Holy Spirit led believers to help Saul in is new life as a Christian even though they were still apprehensive and anxious about trusting Paul. They trusted the leading of the Holy Spirit.
The Holy Spirit also provided a mentor to Saul/Paul in the wise man, Barnabas, who “took him under his wing”.
Acts 9, The Message
19-21 Saul spent a few days getting acquainted with the Damascus disciples, but then went right to work, wasting no time, preaching in the meeting places that this Jesus was the Son of God. They were caught off guard by this and, not at all sure they could trust him, they kept saying, “Isn’t this the man who wreaked havoc in Jerusalem among the believers? And didn’t he come here to do the same thing—arrest us and drag us off to jail in Jerusalem for sentencing by the high priests?”
22 But their suspicions didn’t slow Saul down for even a minute. His momentum was up now and he plowed straight into the opposition, disarming the Damascus Jews and trying to show them that this Jesus was the Messiah.
23-25 After this had gone on quite a long time, some Jews conspired to kill him, but Saul got wind of it. They were watching the city gates around the clock so they could kill him. Then one night the disciples engineered his escape by lowering him over the wall in a basket.
26-27 Back in Jerusalem he tried to join the disciples, but they were all afraid of him. They didn’t trust him one bit. Then Barnabas took him under his wing. He introduced him to the apostles and stood up for him, told them how Saul had seen and spoken to the Master on the Damascus Road and how in Damascus itself he had laid his life on the line with his bold preaching in Jesus’ name.
28-30 After that he was accepted as one of them, going in and out of Jerusalem with no questions asked, uninhibited as he preached in the Master’s name. But then he ran afoul of a group called Hellenists—he had been engaged in a running argument with them—who plotted his murder. When his friends learned of the plot, they got him out of town, took him to Caesarea, and then shipped him off to Tarsus.
31 Things calmed down after that and the church had smooth sailing for a while. All over the country—Judea, Samaria, Galilee—the church grew. They were permeated with a deep sense of reverence for God. The Holy Spirit was with them, strengthening them. They prospered wonderfully.
How do we measure a man or woman who has converted their lives to live for Christ?
Dear Heavenly Father,
Teach us to love, accept, nurture and encourage new believers by they way You measure their value as Your child. New life. New perspective. Allowing room for the transformation of the Holy Spirit.
In Jesus Name, Amen