Perhaps the most exciting example of this in all of history is the conversion of Saul on the road to Damascus. Saul is a killer of Christians, on his way to a new city to spread persecution when Jesus stops him. Jesus radically changes him into an all-in apostle and aggressive evangelist. But this story also raises a question…
The question is not if Jesus can save. The question is will we love those he has saved?
In the book of Acts, the Christian community had a hard time receiving Saul into their fellowship. Ananias definitely expresses his hesitation in Acts 9:10-16. Certainly we can understand their concern as Saul had led the efforts to kill them or throw them in jail. We know that when Stephen was murdered, the first Christian martyr, the killers laid down their garments at Saul’s feet (Acts 7:58). He was the church’s foremost hater but now he wanted to become one of their brothers in Christ. Unfortunately, they forgot the fact that even haters need love:
Acts 9:26 – And when he had come to Jerusalem, he attempted to join the disciples. And they were all afraid of him, for they did not believe that he was a disciple.
How do you respond when someone professes faith in Jesus? Do you doubt them? Do you keep your distance until they prove it to you? Or do you welcome them in with love?
Thankfully, there was one man who reached out his hand to Saul:
Acts 9:27-28 – But Barnabas took him and brought him to the apostles and declared to them how on the road he had seen the Lord, who spoke to him, and how at Damascus he had preached boldly in the name of Jesus. So he went in and out among them at Jerusalem, preaching boldly in the name of the Lord.
I wonder where Saul would have been if Barnabas didn't reach out and bring him in?
This has been such an exciting month for us at True North. Over the last month, especially at Revival, there have been many professions of faith. Jesus is saving. Lives are changing. But I wonder how we are doing at reaching out to these new brothers and sisters in love? What will happen to them if we don’t welcome them in?
I am praying that Jesus will continue to save and I have faith that he will. There is no question. So it is awesome that we are building a new room for True North that is twice as big! I am praying for the 120 project and I am ready to give to it this weekend! But if True North is going to have double the room, then we need to have double the love!
The truth is if the revival is going to spread, then you and I will need to be a Barnabas!
Fri, Feb 17, 2012
by Bobby Blakey