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Thoughts Archived > Sharing The Journey

3 Feb 2019



February 3, 2019

  Sharing The Journey  

Acts 22: 1-23




"Brothers and esteemed fathers,"  Paul said.  "listen to me as I offer my defense."  When they heard him speaking in their own language, the silence was even greater.  "I am a Jew, born in Tarsus, a city in Cilicia, and I was brought up and educated here in Jerusalem under Gamaliel. At his feet I learned to follow our Jewish laws and customs very carefully.  I became very zealous to honor God in everything I did, just as all of  you are today. And I persecuted the followers of the Way, hounding some to death, binding and delivering both men and women to prison.  The high priest and the whole council of leaders can testify that this is so.  For I received letters from them to our Jewish brothers in Damascus, authorizing me to bring the Christians from there to Jerusalem, in chains to be punished.

"As I was on the road, nearing Damascus, about noon a very bright light from heaven suddenly shone around me. I fell to the ground and heard a voice saying to me, "Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting me?'

"'Who are you, sir?'  I asked.  And he replied, 'I am Jesus of Nazareth, the one you are persecuting.'  The people with me saw the light but didn't hear the voice.

"I said, 'What shall I do, Lord?'  And the Lord told me, 'Get up and go into Damascus and there you will be told all that you are to do.'

"I was blinded by the intense light and had to be led into Damascus by my companions.  A man named Ananias lived there.  He was a godly man in his devotions to the law, and he was well thought of by all the Jews of Damascus.  He came to me and stood beside me and said, 'Brother Saul, receive your sight.'  And that very hour I could see him!

"'Then he told me, 'The God of our ancestors has chosen you to know his will and to see the Righteous One and hear him speak.  You are to take his message everywhere, telling the whole world what you have seen and heard.  And now, why delay?  Get up and be baptized, and have your sins washed away, calling on the name of the Lord.'

"One day after I returned to Jerusalem, I was prying in the Temple, and I fell into a trance.  I saw a vision of Jesus saying to me, 'Hurry!  Leave Jerusalem, for the people here won't believe you when you give them your testimony about me.'

"'But Lord,' I argued, 'they certainly know that I imprisoned and beat those in every synagogue who believed on you.  And when your witness Stephen was killed, I was standing there agreeing.  I kept the coats they laid aside as they stoned him." 

"But the Lord said to me, 'Leave Jerusalem, for I will send you far away to the Gentiles!'"

The crowd listened until Paul came to that word; then with one voice they shouted, "Away with such a fellow!  Kill him!  He isn't fit to live!  They yelled, threw off their coats, and tossed handfuls of dust into the air. 










Paul/Saul shared in the language of the people:

where he was born, brought up, educated

at whose feet he learned spiritual education

his zealousness to honor God in everything he did

his actions to persecute those he didn't understand or know to believe as he did

his belief he had to punish others for the same

his journey when saw a very bright light and Jesus' voice asking why he was persecuting him [note: not his people....him-Jesus]

when he first hear dJesus' voice telling him what to do

that he was blinded by the intense light of Jesus and had to be led on the journey by a companion to the location Jesus told him to go - Damascus 

that he met a man, Ananias, godly in devotion to the law and well thought of by all Jews of Damascus, who went to him, stood beside him and said, "Brother Saul, receive your sight."  And how, at that very house, Saul/Paul could see.

that he was given a directive from God by another man of God who said, "The God of our ancestors has chosen you to know his will and to see The Righteous One and hear him speak.  You are to take this message everywhere, telling the whole world what you have seen and hear. And now why delay?  Get up and be baptized, and have your sins washed away, calling on the name of the Lord."

Then he shared about a time he was praying in the Temple, fell into a trance, saw a vision of Jesus telling him "Hurry! Leave Jerusalem, for the people here won't believe you when you give them your testimony about me."  

Paul even shared how he argued with the Lord that the people knew the facts believing his partnership in crime against Jesus' followers would keep him safe. 

And he shared further that the Lord told him again, "Leave Jerusalem, for I will send you far away to the Gentiles." 

And that with one voice they shouted, "Away with such a fellow!  Kill him!  He isn't fit to live !", as they threw off their coats and tossed handfuls of dust in the air.

Brothers and sisters, your testimony....or mine....may not be as dramatic, but the elements remain similar.

This then, as Paul/Saul shared, is how to share your journey with truth and hope to convert others to Jesus.

Have you become a Christian?

What has been your journey?

Are you ready to heed Jesus' voice today?

Go....towards the light of Christ Jesus!

Be healed!

Be forgiven of your sins!

Go forth for, and with, Jesus today!

And follow him more nearly....everyday.






Let Us Pray



God, Jesus, Holy Spirit forgive me for my sins, so that I may be a cleansed vessel to which Holy Spirit would want to come, rest and have his being, to lead, guide and direct me.   Holy Spirit come, baptize me in the fullness of all you have to give.  Help me to always hear only through you, Holy Spirit, lest I fall vulnerable to the evil thoughts of Satan and the negativity that emits from him and his assigns.  Help me to always be respectful, to ask, to speak, to enter into another's comfortability of who and where they are, so that I will know how to best speak of you to be heard.  May you give me the gift of language tongues of Holy Spirit of those to whom you wish me to speak.  Heal me Father God, Jesus, Holy Spirit.....please....so that nothing can stand in the way of going forth for and with you.  And please, help me to share my testimony with such conviction of heart, passion, love for you, that others will see you in me and want who I have in my life, so they, too, may have a new life with you.  That they may desire to live so closely with you as to know you intimately, and want to share who you are, that you are, and how wonderful you are with others.  May Paul's testimony be an example of how to share our truths, so others may know your glory.  I praise you.  I thank you.  I love you.  Amen.







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Let us hear from Paul as he prays:  

When I think of the wisdom and scope of God's plan, I fall to my knees and pray to the Father, the Creator of everything in heaven and on earth.  I pray that from his glorious, unlimited resources he will give you mighty inner strength through his Holy Spirit.  And I pray that Christ will be more and more at home in your hearts as you trust in him.  May your roots go down deep into the soil of God's marvelous love.  And may you have the power to understand, as all God's people should, how wide, how long, how high, and how deep his love really is.  May you experience the love of Christ, though it is so great you will never fully understand it.  Then you will be filled with the fullness of life and power that comes from God.

Now glory be to God!  By his mighty power at work within us, he is able to accomplish infinitely more than we would ever dare to ask or hope.  May he be given glory in the church and in Christ Jesus forever and ever through endless ages.  Amen.  Ephesians 3:14-21 NLT         





Scroll down to read Jesus' Prayer of Thanksgiving...'The Unforced Rhythms of Grace'.





Definition of a Christian:  Anyone who believes in God, Jesus and Holy Spirit, and accepts Jesus as Lord and Savior.  Regardless of church name or religious affiliation. 

'All who have been united with Christ in baptism have been made like him.  There is no longer Jew or Gentile, slave or free, male or female.  For you are all Christians - you are ONE in Christ Jesus.'  Galatians 3: 27


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Teach these new disciples to obey all the commands I have given you.  And be sure of this:

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It is time to reach into the community and the world around you to see wherein lies the greatest need.  As you choose to focus on these areas, do so with a servant's heart.  Whether the need is for children, adults, animals, the earth, or any cause in between that will help those in need, ask God how you can best serve his needs, what path you must take, and how long you should persevere.  Sometimes we are to be in the lives of others merely as stepping stones.  Sometimes we are to touch those lives forever.  Whatever journey you are called to take, whatever team you will be a member, know this:  God is with you always...even til the end of time.  He loves you, is grateful for you, and will help you along life's way, especially if you are helping others along theirs, persevering with a servant's heart.  


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  One last thing....



Jesus' Prayer of Thanksgiving

'The Unforced Rhythms of Grace'



"Abruptly Jesus broke into prayer:  "Thank you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth.  You've concealed your ways from sophisticates and know-it-alls, but spelled them out clearly to ordinary people.  Yes, Father, that's the way you like to work."

Jesus resumed talking to the people, but now tenderly.  "The Father has given me all these things to do and say.  This is a unique Father - Son operation, coming out of Father and Son intimacies and knowledge.  No one knows the Son the way the Father does, nor the Father the way the Son does.  But I'm not keeping it to myself; I'm ready to go over it line by line with anyone willing to listen."

"Are you tired?  Worn out?  Burned out on religion?  Come to me.  Get away with me and you'll recover your life.  I'll show you how to take a real rest.  Walk with me and work with me - watch how I do it.  Learn the unforced rhythms of grace.  I won't lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you'll learn how to live freely and lightly.


Matthew 11:  25-30

  The Message


And the people said,











I now write most prayers in the position of ' I ' (first person) because most people are sitting at their computer alone, not in groups, and it allows those reading and praying to personalize the prayer as coming from them going to God.  Variations may appear on holidays when families may wish to use the prayer provided.  I encourage you to pray your own prayers as well.


Unless otherwise indicated, all Scripture quotations are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright 1996.  Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Wheaton, Illinois 60189.  All rights reserved.


NOTE:  I said it long ago, but let me say it again.  If you are wanting to lead a group, start a church, or are confined in an institution, or live in a country where the Gospel is not preached, and you don't know what to say or how to say it, and yet feel led to share, teach, or preach, besides just reading straight out of the Bible and sharing what God puts on your heart, please feel free to share any or all of what I've written, if it will help you, as long as you include where it comes from, due to copyright laws.  Jesus gave God's love and healing freely, as well as his message.  Our responsibility is to get the Word out to those who need to hear it.  If what I've written....by the power and direction of the Holy Spirit....or what he has said through me....has helped you, it may help others that you know.  You are welcome to share it.  God calls all of us to share the Gospel of Jesus Christ with the world.  Please share it with the fullness of love that God, Jesus, Holy Spirit....and I....have given it.  Amen!




Bible Authors & Minister