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.' 11 And since I could not see because of the brightness of that light, I was led by the hand by those who were with me, and came into Damascus.
12 “And one Ananias, a devout man according to the law, well spoken of by all the Jews who lived there, 13 came to me, and standing by me said to me, ‘Brother Saul, receive your sight.’ And at that very hour I received my sight and saw him. 14 And he said, ‘The God of our fathers appointed you to know his will, to see the Righteous One and to hear a voice from his mouth; 15 for you will be a witness for him to everyone of what you have seen and heard. 16 And now why do you wait? Rise and be baptized and wash away your sins, calling on his name.’
- 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 your story –Who were you before Christ? What was meeting Christ like? In what ways is your life different now as a result of meeting him? Are other people different today because of your interaction with Jesus?
- Think about how you might describe your life-altering encounter with the Living God and your faith journey. Now write your story of faith in just two or three paragraphs. Ask someone to help you make it a simple but interesting story of your faith journey.
- Pray that God will provide you an opportunity to present your story of God and you with another person in the coming week. When you sense the open opportunity, take the risk and share the stories.
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.
Prayer & Journaling: On your prayer journal, as you listen to God, write down a few thoughts, questions, words, names, drawings, or anything that has come to your mind during this time.
Proverbs for Today 14:22-25
22 Do they not go astray who devise evil? Those who devise good meet steadfast love and faithfulness. 23 In all toil there is profit, but mere talk tends only to poverty. 24 The crown of the wise is their wealth, but the folly of fools brings folly. 25 A truthful witness saves lives, but one who breathes out lies is deceitful.