1諸位父兄請聽，我現在對你們分訴。 2 眾人聽他說的是希伯來話，就更加安靜了。
3 保羅說：我原是猶太人，生在基利家的大數，長在這城裡，在迦瑪列門下，按著我們祖宗嚴緊的律法受教，熱心事奉神，像你們眾人今日一樣。 4 我也曾逼迫奉這道的人，直到死地，無論男女都鎖拿下監。 5 這是大祭司和眾長老都可以給我作見證的。我又領了他們達與弟兄的書信，往大馬士革去，要把在那裡奉這道的人鎖拿，帶到耶路撒冷受刑。
6 我將到大馬士革，正走的時候，約在晌午，忽然從天上發大光，四面照著我。 7 我就仆倒在地，聽見有聲音對我說：掃羅！掃羅！你為甚麼逼迫我？
8 我回答說：主啊，你是誰？他說：我就是你所逼迫的拿撒勒人耶穌。 9 與我同行的人看見了那光，卻沒有聽明那位對我說話的聲音。
1“Brothers and fathers, listen now to my defense.” 2When they heard him speak to them in Aramaic, they became very quiet. Then Paul said: 3“I am a Jew, born in Tarsus of Cilicia, but brought up in this city. Under Gamaliel I was thoroughly trained in the law of our fathers and was just as zealous for God as any of you are today. 4I persecuted the followers of this Way to their death, arresting both men and women and throwing them into prison, 5as also the high priest and all the Council can testify. I even obtained letters from them to their brothers in Damascus, and went there to bring these people as prisoners to Jerusalem to be punished. 6“About noon as I came near Damascus, suddenly a bright light from heaven flashed around me. 7I fell to the ground and heard a voice say to me, ‘Saul! Saul! Why do you persecute me?’ 8” ‘Who are you, Lord?’ I asked. ” ‘I am Jesus of Nazareth, whom you are persecuting,’ he replied. 9My companions saw the light, but they did not understand the voice of him who was speaking to me. 10“‘What shall I do, Lord?’ I asked. “‘Get up,’ the Lord said, ‘and go into Damascus. There you will be told all that you have been assigned to do.’
- Paul’s faith began in an amazing way on the road to Damascus. He was bold to share his story and ultimately The Story, the one of God and man. This passage gives us a thorough yet succinct explanation of the person Paul was before he met Christ, how he met Christ, and the person he became after he met Christ.
- Reflect on my story –Who was I before Christ? What was meeting Christ like? In what ways is my life different now as a result of meeting him? Are other people different today because of my interaction with Jesus?
- Think about how I might describe my life-altering encounter with the Living God and my faith journey. Now write my story of faith in just two or three paragraphs. Finally, ask someone to help me hone it to include the most appropriate details.
- Pray that God will provide me an opportunity to present my story of God and me with another person in the coming week. When I sense the open door plainly before me, take the risk and share the stories.
Prayer & Journaling:
Stay with God for a little longer. Continue to converse with God and listen to what he wants to tell me. Then write down any thought and/or prayer in the 2011 “Spiritual Journal” book.
Family Time (Begin this time by reading the passage above using a children’s Bible.)
Paul clearly knows that God has assigned him to be a preacher and a missionary. God has a plan (or an assignment) for every Christian. What do you think God has “assigned” for you to do? How do you know? What are you going to do about your “assignment”? Write the assignments in your Family Devotional Journal.