Saul spent several days with the disciples in Damascus. At once he began to preach in the synagogues that Jesus is the Son of God. All those who heard him were astonished and asked, “Isn’t he the man who raised havoc in Jerusalem among those who call on this name? And hasn’t he come here to take them as prisoners to the chief priests?” Yet Saul grew more and more powerful and baffled the Jews living in Damascus by proving that Jesus is the Messiah.
After many days had gone by, there was a conspiracy among the Jews to kill him, but Saul learned of their plan. Day and night they kept close watch on the city gates in order to kill him. But his followers took him by night and lowered him in a basket through an opening in the wall.
When he came to Jerusalem, he tried to join the disciples, but they were all afraid of him, not believing that he really was a disciple. But Barnabas took him and brought him to the apostles. He told them how Saul on his journey had seen the Lord and that the Lord had spoken to him, and how in Damascus he had preached fearlessly in the name of Jesus. So Saul stayed with them and moved about freely in Jerusalem, speaking boldly in the name of the Lord. He talked and debated with the Hellenistic Jews, but they tried to kill him. When the believers learned of this, they took him down to Caesarea and sent him off to Tarsus.
Then the church throughout Judea, Galilee and Samaria enjoyed a time of peace and was strengthened. Living in the fear of the Lord and encouraged by the Holy Spirit, it increased in numbers.
Learnings from Paul: God Used Time
August 28, 2022 • Kirk Roberts • Acts 9:19–31
March 3, 2024
The Household of Faith
February 25, 2024 • Brad Strait
Consider - ╬ As you reflect on how you can carry someone else’s burdens, think of one person whose burdens God has brought to your attention. (Or you can start by asking God to bring someone to mind.) How can you help carry their burdens? Start by praying regularly for this brother or sister, while also asking the Father to show you ways that He might want you to help. ╬ Take time this week to thank God for the freedom that He has given you. Ask Him to give you opportunities to use that freedom to do good to those in the family of believers and to others.
Free to Die
February 18, 2024 • Brad Strait
Conversation Starters ╬ Paul accuses the false teachers of being afraid of “trouble” and says that “the world (and all its troubles) has been crucified to [him] and [he] to the world.” How does the assurance of the cross of Jesus mitigate your own fears of trouble? ╬ Galatians 5 is where we find the beloved “fruit of the Spirit.” As we face the worlds’ troubles and our fears, return again to the “fruit” and Paul’s encouragement to “keep in step with the Spirit.”