Acts 9:10-19 Video Devotional

“Now there was a disciple at Damascus named Ananias. The Lord said to him in a vision, “Ananias.” And he said, “Here I am, Lord.” And the Lord said to him, “Rise and go to the street called Straight, and at the house of Judas look for a man of Tarsus named Saul, for behold, he is praying, and he has seen in a vision a man named Ananias come in and lay his hands on him so that he might regain his sight.” But Ananias answered, “Lord, I have heard from many about this man, how much evil he has done to your saints at Jerusalem. And here he has authority from the chief priests to bind all who call on your name.” But the Lord said to him, “Go, for he is a chosen instrument of mine to carry my name before the Gentiles and kings and the children of Israel. For I will show him how much he must suffer for the sake of my name.” So Ananias departed and entered the house. And laying his hands on him he said, “Brother Saul, the Lord Jesus who appeared to you on the road by which you came has sent me so that you may regain your sight and be filled with the Holy Spirit.” And immediately something like scales fell from his eyes, and he regained his sight. Then he rose and was baptized; and taking food, he was strengthened.” (Acts 9:10-19)

Have you ever put yourself in the place of Ananias? Can you imagine what it must have been like to walk up to a man who had persecuted and killed countless numbers of people just like you? Some of them your friends and family members? What would you do if you were Ananias? Would you be able to obey God’s instructions?

Again, this is very applicable to the turmoil in our world today. Hatred is growing, fear is increasing and explosion seems likely. There is one, single way to diffuse the time bomb in our society. Forgiveness. “Then Peter came up and said to him, “Lord, how often will my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? As many as seven times?” Jesus said to him, “I do not say to you seven times, but seventy-seven times.” (Matthew 18:21-22)

Imagine where we would be as a faith if Ananias had refused God’s call and either ignored or even attacked Saul. The evils of what could have been are unfathomable.

Forgiveness is our only hope for reconciliation. We have to be able to let go of the fear, hate, and enmity in order to have a change to come together. Reparations will never be enough. Each person, on an individual level, has to choose love over hate; peace over violence; grace over payback.

I am keeping this vague (as in who needs to forgive whom), as this is required on ALL SIDES: Republicans vs Democrats, blacks vs whites, everyone. And know what forgiveness means! “As far as the east is from the west, so far does he remove our transgressions from us.” (Psalm 103:12) Can you do that? Can you look your adversary in the eye and remove all antagonism and see them as beloved children of their Creator? Can you look across the aisle with love?

Let me tell you this: if you can’t (or don’t), the consequences are clear – war. In your heart or on your land; and the victims will continue to pile up. Know which way you are walking – either towards war or peace. Pick today the end goal you want and then make the choices that lead you to that end. I hope and pray that peace is your goal.

“Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse them. Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep. Live in harmony with one another. Do not be haughty, but associate with the lowly. Never be wise in your own sight. Repay no one evil for evil, but give thought to do what is honorable in the sight of all. If possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all. Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave it to the wrath of God, for it is written, “Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord.” To the contrary, “if your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink; for by so doing you will heap burning coals on his head.” Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.” (Romans 12:14-21)