Jan. 21 - Acts, Part 6
You don’t have to watch the news or a reality show for long before you find yourself shaking your head at someone’s antics and muttering, “Wow their parents really did a number on them.” It’s a harsh judgement, but in many instances, that’s not far from the truth. We all have experiences and events in our past that have had a role in forming who we are today and, in the case of some people, the past can lead to very negative habits or characteristics that are harmful to us and those around us. But, as Greg’s sermon on Sunday revealed, we don’t have to be prisoners to the past. God has a beautiful future planned for us if we’re willing to accept it.
Jesus came to earth as an ambassador of the future. He taught and demonstrated ways of loving, behaving, and treating people that no one had ever seen before. He was giving a glimpse of what the future can look like for those who love the Lord. When Saul was entrenched in his life of arresting and killing the Lord’s followers, no one but God was able to picture the beautiful future that was in store for him. After his brief encounter with Jesus, Saul’s life completely changed. His past was gone.
Acts 9:19-22 Saul stayed with the believers in Damascus for a few days. And immediately he began preaching about Jesus in the synagogues, saying, “He is indeed the Son of God!”
All who heard him were amazed. “Isn’t this the same man who caused such devastation among Jesus’ followers in Jerusalem?” they asked. “And didn’t he come here to arrest them and take them in chains to the leading priests?”
Saul’s preaching became more and more powerful, and the Jews in Damascus couldn’t refute his proofs that Jesus was indeed the Messiah.
In just a matter of days, Saul’s past was being led by his future. This is just one example of how God’s future rushes in to push out our past. He knew what future he had for Saul, if only he was willing to accept it. Are we willing to accept the future that God has for us? If there are issues in our past that need to be acknowledged and addressed, those can’t be neglected; however, we don’t need to let them define who we are. Make your decisions based on that future that God has for you and allow the gift of God’s future to wash away your past.