Acts 9: 21: “All those hearing of him continued to be amazed, and were saying, ‘Is this not he who in Jerusalem destroyed those who called on this Name, and who had come here for the purpose of bringing them bound before the chief priests?’” Chekhov said that everything changes except the human spirit. On the contrary, every positive change, whether in an individual’s character or in society, happens because of the spiritual change we call the New Birth. The change in Saul’s behavior was not the result of some self-help program; it began on the Damascus road when he was met by Christ. Any other approach is mere humanism.
Tuesday, August 25: “Basic Instinct”
Job 6: 10: “But it is still my consolation, and I rejoice in unsparing pain, that I have not denied the words of the Holy One.” We’re all familiar with suffering by now, at least more than we were six months ago. Our first instinct? For many, it's “Curse God and die,” as Job’s wife counseled him (Job 2: 9). Knowing the Lord as his strength, his source, and his consolation, Job took a different course: to be faithful to the faithful One, Who is bigger than all the pain and trials.
Wednesday, August 26: “Keep Walking”
John 7: 1: “After these things Jesus was walking in Galilee; for He was unwilling to walk in Judea, because the Jews were seeking to kill Him.” Even Jesus is not rash or presumptuous. As the Son of God He could walk where He pleased, right? But He knew it was not yet time to suffer in Jerusalem, so He waited in Galilee; for the time being, at least. And whether in Galilee or in Jerusalem He kept doing what He did--He kept walking.
Thursday, August 27: “Call and Response”
Psalm 18: 6: “In my distress I called upon the Lord, and cried to my God for help; He heard my voice out of His temple, and my cry for help before Him came into His ears.” How did David know that God was his Rock, Fortress, and Deliverer (v. 1)? Because he had been delivered! If you never have any distress, you will never have a chance to know the salvation of God.
Friday, August 28: “Problems at the Top”
John 7: 48, 49: “No one of the rulers of rulers or Pharisees has believed in Him, has He? But this multitude which does not know the Law is accursed.” Were the Pharisees in touch with the people they served? They didn’t realize that Nicodemus, one of their number, believed in Jesus. And whose fault was it that the multitude did not know the Law? Wasn’t it the Pharisees’ job to teach them? No wonder Jesus gave them a hard time.
Saturday, August 29: “Total Recall”
Acts 11: 16: “I remembered the word of the Lord, how He used to say, ‘John baptized with water, but you shall be baptized with the Holy Spirit.” When you’re in a tight spot and don’t know what to do, learn this life hack from St. Peter: Remember the Word of the Lord. Fear not, the Holy Spirit will help you with that (John 14: 26; 16: 13). People may argue with you, but only a fool argues with God.
1) How did Saul’s life change?
2) How should we respond to suffering?
3) Why did Jesus skip the Feast in Jerusalem?
4) What did David do in his distress?
5) What made the Pharisees bad leaders?
6) What life hack did Peter use in Cornelius’ home?