Scripture: Acts 9:18-31
Last week in our ‘Make Love the Measure’ worship series we shared the story of Ananias, the foolishly faithful believer who trusted the Lord’s call and healed & welcomed a man named Saul. That seems like a pretty ‘normal’ biblical story until you learn Saul was blinded by the Lord on his way to Damascus (Annanias’ hometown) on a mission to find and arrest all the believers living there. Saul’s plan was interrupted by God, who came, not to punish Saul, but to transform him into the ‘chosen vessel’ to bring the gospel to Gentiles.
Usually when we tell this story, we skip from the story of Saul’s encounter with Christ to the stories of Paul’s incredible ministry planting churches across the known world. But this Sunday, we are looking deep into what we normally overlook. Because it wasn’t just the power of the Lord that changed Paul’s heart–it was the love of a community.
In Acts chapter 9, we catch a glimpse of the way two churches loved, healed, taught, and learned from a man who, in his former life had been responsible for the brutal deaths of their loved ones. That’s the kind of wondrous love the Spirit empowers and requires of us in the body of Christ. It’s the kind of love that still redeems and remakes the world–and it is our baptismal birthright.
I hope you’ll join us as we ponder how to be a church full of life-changing, destiny shifting love.
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