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Acts 9:1-19, The Conversion of Saul

Narrative Lectionary Key Verse for Today

But the Lord said to [Ananias], ‘Go, for [Saul] is an instrument whom I have chosen to bring my name before Gentiles and kings and before the people of Israel; I myself will show him how much he must suffer for the sake of my name.’
— Acts 9:15-16

NL Daily Devotion for Friday, May 3, 2019

by R. Fergus Moir, Clergy Stuff

Some people say that “a leopard can’t change his spots,” that people can’t change. Ananias certainly thought this way. Saul was a terrible man, ruthlessly persecuting those who believed in Jesus, handing men and women over to be tried and killed for those beliefs. When God told Ananias to go to Saul and heal him, Ananias thought God must be nuts! But Ananias was wrong. Saul was completely changed by his encounter with Jesus on the road to Damascus, and became a champion for the gospel.

We’re all a product of the accident of our birth and the nature of our environment—things we have little control over. But it’s a mistake to say what Pop-eye said: “I am what I am and that’s all that I am.” Because when we have an encounter with Jesus, “what I am” changes forever into “what I can become with God’s help.” And that also means that I can’t be Ananias and judge others, assuming they can never change. God calls all of us out of our comfort to be who we were created to be.

Saving God, mold and make me into what you would have me be every day. Amen.