Acts 9:1-22. This Reading shows us the power of God’s grace. In this passage we see Saul of Tarsus hurrying to Damascus to arrest any and all followers of Jesus; Saul consented to the murder of the first Christian martyr, Stephen, and now Saul wants to put more of Jesus’ followers to death. What should Jesus do with this persecutor of His people? Should Jesus destroy him, the just thing to do? Or should Jesus extend mercy to him, and change his heart? Jesus extends mercy, and Saul of Tarsus becomes the Apostle Paul.
How do we treat those who revile us for the Name of Jesus? Do we revile in return? Do we want and demand justice against them? Do we extend mercy to them? What would Jesus have us do?
Lord Jesus, we thank and praise You that instead of giving Saul justice, You gave him mercy, and changed his heart to become the apostle Paul. May we seek Your mercy for ourselves, and also for those who revile us for Your Name, that they might be led to repent and become Your disciples. In Your Name we pray. Amen.
Psalm 30. This is a wonderful psalm of praise. David, the author of the psalm, gave thanks for God’s care and protection of him, rescuing him on many occasions. As you read the psalm, think of king David and the many times the Lord rescued and protected him. Then reread the psalm from the perspective of the resurrected Jesus – it will take on a new and glorious meaning as we read it from the perspective of the resurrection.
O Lord, let us always extol You and give You thanks for the many ways You rescued king David, for the resurrection of Jesus, and for our own resurrection in Him. May we always sing Your praises. Amen
Revelation 5:(1-7) 8-14. WOW! What a glorious sight – John had a vision of heaven: The Lord seated on His throne, Jesus the Lamb of God, worthy to break open the seals on the scroll, and angels, elders, and the countless host of heaven singing praises to God! May we join their songs, “To Him Who sits on the throne and to the Lamb be blessing and honor and glory and might forever and ever! Amen!” Amen!
John 21:1-19. Imagine you are the disciple Peter, who just a few days before denied knowing your Lord Jesus as He was on trial for His life. What would you do if Jesus was suddenly where you were? Would you run and hide? Would you run to Him?
What would you expect Jesus to do? Would you expect Jesus to scold you and be angry with you? Would you expect Jesus to require some groveling in the dust on your part? Would you expect Jesus to forgive you and then send you out with a new mission? Which did Jesus do to Peter?
Let us always return to Jesus, knowing that in Him we have forgiveness, and then to be sent out by Him to be His disciples in the world.
Lord Jesus, we are so much like Peter: all too often we deny knowing You. When we fall short, pick us up again, forgive us, lead us to renewal of our love for You, and then send us out into the world to be Your ambassadors, being as compassionate and forgiving of others as You are of us. Amen.