Acts 9:10-19 - Now there was a disciple at Damascus named Ananias. The Lord said to him in a vision, "Ananias." And he said, "Here I am, Lord." And the Lord said to him, "Rise and go to the street called Straight, and at the house of Judas look for a man of Tarsus named Saul, for behold, he is praying, and he has seen in a vision a man named Ananias come in and lay his hands on him so that he might regain his sight." But Ananias answered, "Lord, I have heard from many about this man, how much evil he has done to Your saints at Jerusalem. And here he has authority from the chief priests to bind all who call on Your Name." But the Lord said to him, "Go, for he is a chosen instrument of Mine to carry My Name before the Gentiles and kings and the children of Israel. For I will show him how much he must suffer for the sake of My Name." So Ananias departed and entered the house. And laying his hands on him he said, "Brother Saul, the Lord Jesus who appeared to you on the road by which you came has sent me so that you may regain your sight and be filled with the Holy Spirit." And immediately something like scales fell from his eyes, and he regained his sight. Then he rose and was baptized; and taking food, he was strengthened.
I really like Ananias. He's such an ordinary Christian to get pulled into the spotlight for a short time. Imagine it—here is Ananias going about his ordinary life, perhaps a little worried because he's heard that Saul is coming to town to arrest Christians. And then God tells him to go visit Saul and heal him! It must have been like being told to go and lay hands on a hungry lion. Ananias is taken aback, and he says so. "Lord, I have heard from many about this man, how much evil he has done ...." Are You sure You've got the right man in mind? Are You sure You want to send me?
But God confirms it. "Go, for he is a chosen instrument of Mine ... I will show him how much he must suffer for the sake of My Name." So Ananias stops arguing. He gets up, goes to the address God has been so practical as to give him and, sure enough, there's Saul. Ananias doesn't hold back. He lays his hands on Saul and even calls him "brother"! And God uses his obedience to heal Saul's blindness immediately.
Ananias had a small role, but look at what a difference his obedience made! He was there when it counted—afraid, no doubt, but still there. And God blessed that.
Very few of us will ever be famous—certainly not as famous as Saul, who later became the apostle Paul. We are like Ananias instead. And that's okay. Because known or unknown, all Christians live with the real, everlasting life that Jesus has earned for us through His suffering, death, and resurrection from the dead. Our eyes are on Jesus. He is the One we love and care about, and it's His opinion of us that matters. And when we have the honor of serving Him, whether in a big way or a small way—how wonderful is that?
THE PRAYER: Dear Lord, help me to keep focused on loving and serving You. Amen.
This Daily Devotion was written by Dr. Kari Vo.
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