Acts 9:20-22: “At once he began to preach in the synagogues that Jesus is the Son of God. All those who heard him were astonished and asked, ‘Isn’t he the man who raised havoc in Jerusalem among those who call on this name? And hasn’t he come here to take them as prisoners to the chief priests?’ Yet Saul grew more and more powerful and baffled the Jews living in Damascus by proving that Jesus is the Messiah.”
Are there people from your past that would be surprised to hear you testify to who Jesus is? Sometimes our past can be a challenge to overcome. But, as we discover in today’s passage, staying true to our calling–not what people say–our testimony can be powerful.
Today’s hero, Paul, referred to in the reading as Saul, had been a persecutor of the church of Jesus Christ. He was responsible for the arrests and deaths of numerous people who followed the way of Jesus. Suddenly, his life was changed after an encounter with Jesus on the way to Damascus and he was blinded for several days. After regaining his sight and being baptized, Paul was expeditious in getting to the synagogues and declaring that he now believed that Jesus was indeed the Son of God. His proclamation confounded those present and his former allies, who were now enemies, plotted to kill him. The threats were serious, but they didn’t deter Paul from declaring that Jesus was the Messiah! He “grew more and more powerful and baffled the Jews”. 2000 years later, Paul is considered one of the strongest heroes of the faith. It is amazing how God can transform our lives! It astonishes people and God gets all the glory! The same Holy Spirit that filled Paul’s life can fill our hearts today and give us the courage and strength to declare that Jesus is Lord!
A special thanks to the American Bible Society for contributing devotional content for Go2020.
Ask God to empower you with boldness to share the message of Jesus with someone on your My 5 today.
Pay attention to someone on your My 5 list today. Give them encouragement to speak, show willingness to listen, and use positive body language: make eye contact, lean in, and ask good questions.