July 21st

"But Saul still breathing threats and murder against the disciples of the Lord, went to the high priest and asked that if he found any belonging to the Way (Jesus), he might bring them bound to Jerusalem.  Now as he went on his way, he approached Damascus, and suddenly a light from heaven shone around him.  And falling to the ground he heard a voice saying to him, "Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting me?  And he said, "I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting.  But rise and enter the city, and you will be told what you are to do."  "Saul rose from the ground, and although his eyes were opened, he saw nothing.  They led him  by the hand and brought him into Damascus.  And for three days he was without sight, and neither ate nor drank."  Acts 9: 1-6, 8-9.

We see the conversion of Saul who would become Paul.  This encourages me that we are never to give up on anyone, and that the Lord is working in their lives with the purpose of saving them.  Think about it, Saul was such a hatred and violence towards the followers of Jesus.  We read that he was breathing threats and murder against the disciples.  He wanted to destroy the followers of Jesus.  He asked to go and arrest Christians and have them thrown in prison and to be killed.  Saul was there when Stephen was stoned to death and gave approval for his murder.  Saul was a man who was against Christ, but yet Christ went looking for Saul, with the purpose of saving him, calling him and using him for His purposes.

Do not give up on your family and friends that want nothing to do with Jesus.  We may feel that our family and friends are so hard to the Gospel, but if the Lord can get ahold of Saul, then God can get a hold of your family and friends.  Just keep praying and living Jesus before them.

Saul was going to destroy the Christians and he had an encounter with the presence of God!  The presence of the Lord knocked him down, spoke to him, and dealt with him.  What our family and friends need is an encounter with the presence of Jesus!  They do not need us nagging them, begging them, or judging them, because that will not change them.  What we need to pray is for an encounter with the presence of Jesus!

We will never be able to debate them, discuss with them, save them, change them, but an encounter with the presence of Jesus will change them!  Just lift up the name of Jesus and pray, and when God gives us an opportunity to share with someone, just let them see the Jesus that is in you. 

Saul has an encounter with Jesus and what happens, he was not able to see anything, and he was led into Damascus, and for three days he was unable to eat or to see.  But this was all part of God's plan to work and mold Saul into Paul!

GOD IS WORKING EVEN WHEN WE DO NOT SEE IT, UNDERSTAND WHAT IS GOING ON!  God is working before we get saved, when we get saved and will continue to work on us, just like Saul.  "And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to His purpose."  Romans 8:28

Encourage yourself that the Lord is working in your unsaved family and friends, because He wants them saved more than we do!  Just keep praying, living and loving them until they have their own personal encounter with Jesus!

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