One of the ways I read my bible is just opening it at random. I don’t recommend this as your primary bible study method, but don’t be opposed to the idea of God speaking to you at random.
The last few times I’ve sat down to read, I opened to the same spot. I briefly read the passage, but it didn’t sink in. Today, it did.
This is right after Saul is blinded after he met Christ on the road to Damascus and God spoke to Ananias.
“The Lord told him, ‘Go to the house of Judas on Straight Street and ask for a man from Tarsus named Saul, for he is praying. In a vision he has seen a man named Ananias come and place his hands on him to restore his sight.’ ‘Lord,’ Ananias answered, ‘I have heard many reports about this man and all the harm he has done to your holy people in Jerusalem. And he has come here with authority from the chief priests to arrest all who call on your name.'”
Isn’t this our hearts? Don’t we question when God gives us a prompting to witness to a non-believer? “God, you don’t know how bad they are! They joke about Christians….they have cheated on their spouse….they have been arrested….they have cussed in front of my kids….they have made it very clear they hate Christians….they don’t care about you…(insert your excuse here).
“But the Lord said to Ananias, ‘Go! This man is my chosen instrument to proclaim my name to the Gentiles and their kings and to the people of Israel. I will show him how much he must suffer for my name.'”
Saul (later renamed Paul) was a murderer. Not just any murderer, a murderer of Christians. Yet God had a beautiful plan for his life, one that would have a long impact on believers for many years.
It can be hard to see the good in others who seem so messed up in our eyes. It can seem almost impossible to imagine them making any difference in the world.
But let me remind you of your own sin. Your own mistakes and shortcomings. If you have saving faith in Christ, you have been forgiven of those mistakes and shortcomings. Take some time to remember all that you’ve been saved from….and if you take an honest look at yourself, you can say, “wow, if God can save ME and my mess, surely He can save them.”
I also encourage you to continue praying for and speaking into people’s lives. Something you say now could have an impact down the line, even years.
No one is beyond God’s reach. No one is too far gone for forgiveness.
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