Bridge Family Devotion (December 7, 2014)

We continue our journey in the book of Acts, Paul had been arrested because of the religious people’s accusations and them trying to kill him. Now he asks to speak to the religious leaders himself.

Acts 22 1 “Brothers and esteemed fathers,” Paul said, “listen to me as I offer my defense.” 2 When they heard him speaking in their own language, the silence was even greater.

Notice Paul’s salutation, he did not call them enemies but humbled himself and called them esteemed. Then he began speaking in Aramaic which surprised them to the point of silence. Paul was not an unlearned follower of Jesus Christ but now they learned he was highly educated.

3 Then Paul said, “I am a Jew, born in Tarsus, a city in Cilicia, and I was brought up and educated here in Jerusalem under Gamaliel. As his student, I was carefully trained in our Jewish laws and customs. I became very zealous to honor God in everything I did, just like all of you today.

Even though he had esteemed them at the beginning, he now shares his educational and Jewish heritage which was probably greater than any of them who had accused him. He was saying I used to be like you, I used to hate Christians but something happened and I want to share it with you.

Paul was essentially sharing his testimony, which is something we all have that will help many whom the Holy Spirit leads us to. Yes, we need to have wisdom and knowledge about Biblical scriptures but it’s hard for people to dispute your personal testimony. This is who I was but look at me since I’ve given Jesus my heart.

Remember every time you share your testimony, it helps you to overcome what the enemy is trying to use against you. We overcome by the WORD of our TESTIMONY and the BLOOD of the LAMB.

4 And I persecuted the followers of the Way, hounding some to death, arresting both men and women and throwing them in prison. 5 The high priest and the whole council of elders can testify that this is so. For I received letters from them to our Jewish brothers in Damascus, authorizing me to bring the Christians from there to Jerusalem, in chains, to be punished.

Paul was saying, you think you were zealous, then I was more so. I victimized everyone who said they followed Jesus, who said He was the way, the truth and the life. I threw those Christians in prison and not just men but women also. The elders and chief priests even wrote letters for me to persecute Christians all over our region. They gave me the authority to bring Christians from all over and put them in chains to be punished. Paul was saying, I was a bad dude, you just think you are bad but something happened that changed my life.

6 “As I was on the road, approaching Damascus about noon, a very bright light from heaven suddenly shone down around me. 7 I fell to the ground and heard a voice saying to me, ‘Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting me?’

Paul now began to dig deep into his testimony; he said, “I was on my way to Damascus around lunch to persecute some of the Christians, minding my own business, zealous for the law when all of a sudden something supernatural happened. The brightest light I have ever seen shone on me and it was so bright I fell to the ground. Then it got even weirder, I heard a voice calling my name twice asking me this: why are you persecuting me?”

Paul then says, “It gets every more supernatural when I asked this”: 8 “‘Who are you, lord?’ I asked. “And the voice replied, ‘I am Jesus the Nazarene, the one you are persecuting.’ 9 The people with me saw the light but didn’t understand the voice speaking to me.

Paul continues, let me paraphrase, now boys I’m on the ground and a bright light is blinding me and then I hear a voice, it was spooky so I asked; Who are you Lord? I wasn’t ready for the response when the voice said I am Jesus the one you are opposing and persecuting. Those traveling with me saw the bright light, saw me fall, heard me speaking but didn’t not hear Him speaking to me.

I’m telling you this was a life changing experience. So it is with all of us, when we met Jesus it changed our lives and we need to do like Paul, we need to share our testimony to everyone we can.
Prayer Points: Father God in Jesus Name I ask you to give me the boldness and the power I need to share my testimony with everyone you put in my path, knowing it’s a divine appointment which could change their eternity.