Scripture: Acts 9:19b-31
Key verses: (26-27a) When he had come to Jerusalem, he attempted to join the disciples; and they were all afraid of him, for they did not believe that he was a disciple. But Barnabas took him, brought him to the apostles, and described for them how on the road he had seen the Lord.
Reflection: Can people change? If so, how does change happen?
Saul was a religious leader who actively persecuted those who professed to be disciples of Jesus Christ. One day while he was traveling, a bright light flashed and Saul fell to the ground where he heard the voice of Jesus speaking to him. Saul got up from the ground, now unable to see anything. For three days Saul was blind. Then God led a man named Ananias to him and when Ananias laid his hands on him and prayed, Saul’s sight was restored. Saul began to preach about Jesus everywhere he went. Unfortunately, the disciples didn’t believe Saul had changed. They were frightened and didn’t welcome him. Along came a man named Barnabas (which means “son of encouragement”) who took Saul with him and offered an account of Saul’s transformation.
Some days I’m like the disciples. I have a fixed idea about who people are and, no matter what they say or do, I find my own opinions reinforced. If I conclude you are lazy, then I will believe laziness is part of your personality. Anything that goes wrong will be a result of your laziness. I won’t offer you opportunities for work and I won’t ask you to try new things. My idea about who you are doesn’t change and it affects all of my interactions with you.
Today I pray that I will be like Barnabas. I pray that God will give me eyes to see people the way God sees them. I pray that God will create opportunities for me to give someone a second chance. I pray that God will make me an encourager for those who are trying to be faithful.
Prayer: O God, thank you for your transforming power in my life. Transform me to be more like Jesus today. Give me eyes to see the faithfulness in those around me and give me boldness to speak up and encourage them. In Christ name I pray. Amen.
Author: Millie Snyder
[Scripture quotations are from New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright © 1989 National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved].