Today’s Reading: Acts 9:26-43 (additional reading: Psalm 132:1-18 & Proverbs 17:6)
What does it take for us to remain faithful to God? For scriptural guidance we are going to look at a passage in Acts 9. In this passage a man named Saul comes to faith in Jesus Christ. However, after coming to faith in Christ Saul faced some major challenges. In verse 23 we read “after many days were past, the Jews plotted to kill him.” They plotted to kill him! If that wasn’t enough, even the believers turned their backs on him. In verse 26 we read “when Saul had come to Jerusalem, he tried to join the disciples; but they were all afraid of him, and did not believe that he was a disciple.” The unbelieving world tried to kill him and the believers turned their backs on him. What a challenge! Did Saul give up? Did he stop serving? Did Saul turn away? No, not at all! In fact, Saul went on to become one of the greatest missionaries of the early church. Also, he wrote many of the books in our New Testament.
You and I may not accomplish such spiritual ventures. We can be faithful! That is all that God requires of us. In fact, I am convinced that all people want to be faithful to God. All people want to find a faith that makes a difference. I am convinced that all of us want to find what Saul found. We want to be faithful. The question arises, what happened in Saul’s life that established such a strong foundation? What motivated him to be faithful? I want to point out some ingredients that went into making Saul the unique and faithful man of God. You and I cannot duplicate Saul’s life but we can duplicate the ingredients.
The first ingredient in staying on track is an encounter with Jesus Christ.
A second ingredient in staying on track is a re-alignment to God’s way. After his encounter with God, Saul was willing to realign his life. He was willing to consider God’s will. When God secured Saul’s attention, Saul added a new word to his vocabulary. The word was “Lord.” For Saul this realignment was radical. Notice verse 21. “All who heard were amazed, and said, ‘Is this not he who destroyed those who called on this name in Jerusalem, and has come here for that purpose, so that he might bring them bound to the chief priests?” His personality was completely changed.
A third ingredient in staying on track is a sense calling. Notice verse 15. God had chosen Saul to be a preacher and missionary. The call to service radically affected Saul’s life. I believe God has a call for every Christian. That does not mean God calls everyone to be a missionary. That does not mean God calls everyone to be a pastor. However, God wants each of us to serve Him. That call to service will change your life forever.