Thursday 12th January 2017 - Daily Reading:
Acts 9 - A Small Thread in a Huge Tapestry by Karen Cowling

This is probably one of the most well known chapters in Acts. Saul's conversion is dramatic and amazing. I mean a bright light from heaven, the audible voice of Jesus and then the sudden physical blinding to represent Saul's spiritual blindness. It must have been scary and shocking for him. However today we are going to look at Ananias. Ananias seems a little like Stephen at first. He's just a general disciple, following God, and completely in tune with the Holy Spirit.

'Go to the house of Judas on Straight Street and ask for a man from Tarsus named Saul, for he is praying. In a vision he has seen a man named Ananias come and place his hands on him to restore his sight.'Ananias must have been terrified! Saul was a man who had only come to Damascus to find and capture all of the followers of Jesus. And now Ananias was being asked to go and pray for him. Have you ever had a stirring that God is asking you to do something? Big or small? Have you ever then said: "What God really?" That is where Ananias was. He had been given a mission similar to Jonah, although it was only one man and not a whole city. It was a man bent on finding and destroying all those who called on the name of Jesus. Ananias would have heard about the death of Stephen.

However unlike Jonah, Ananias does not run the other way. He hears God and how He wants Saul to take the gospel to the Gentiles. Ananias goes and prays with Saul. Immediately the scales of the physical representation of his spiritual blindness fall off his eyes.

Saul did go into the synagogues in Damascus, but instead of attacking the name of Jesus, he was preaching the gospel. So God can and will ask us to do things that in our own strength and humanity we would not be able to do, either because of fear or lack of resources; or a number of other reasons. But God is totally and ultimately in control. So if today you hear God telling you do something, do it. Ananias did! He prayed for the man who most advanced the gospel of the early church; the man who preached to the gentiles; the man that wrote most of our new testament. Ananias, was a small thread in a bigger picture, but a necessary and important one.

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NEWBOLD BAPTIST CHURCH