Ananias of Damascus and Saul and the Lord Jesus Christ
Praise be the the Lord Jesus Christ who through his Prophet Ananias restored the sight of Saint Paul!
Now, Paul before he could become a saint and believer in Jesus Christ was also called Saul. And this Saul was one of the most dangerous persecutors of Christians especially those in Jerusalem and also played part in the murder of the first martyr Stephen. So much was the persecution that the Lord Jesus as mentioned in the Book of Acts of the Apostles Chapter 9 decided to intervene personally on behalf of the Church.
Saul was not just admonished by Jesus Christ but also lost his sight due to the glory of Christ that came as light from Heaven. Then when Saul decided to walk the humble path upon hearing the voice of Jesus, he was told go to Damascus.
The Lord Jesus then worked out healing in Saul through Ananias as per the below verses in the Book of Acts:
10 And there was a certain disciple at Damascus named Ananias. And the Lord said to him in a vision, “Ananias.” And he said, “Behold, I am here, Lord.” 11 Then the Lord said to him, “Arise, and go into the street which is called Straight. And look in the house of Judas for one called Saul of Tarsus. For behold, he prays.” 12 “And in a vision, he has seen a man named Ananias coming in and putting his hands on him, so that he might receive his sight.” 13 Then Ananias answered, “Lord, I have heard from many about this man; how much evil he has done to your saints at Jerusalem. 14 “Moreover, here he has the authority of the chief priests to bind all that call on Your Name.” 15 Then the Lord said to him, “Go. For he is a vessel chosen by Me to bear My Name before the Gentiles, and Kings, and the children of Israel.16 “For I will show him how many things he must suffer for My Name’s sake.”
17 Then Ananias went, and entered that house, and put his hands on him, and said, “Brother Saul, the Lord Jesus, Who appeared to you on the way as you came, has sent me, so that you might receive your sight and be filled with the Holy Ghost.”18 And immediately something like ‘scales’ fell from his eyes. And suddenly he received sight, and arose, and was baptized, 19 and received food and was strengthened. So, Saul was with the Damascus disciples for some days.
A few lessons to learn from this:
- The Lord Jesus will bless those who follow his Word even those who are the worst of sinners that repent.
- Like Saul be ready to obey the Lord Jesus to move up to your higher calling in God.
- Like Ananias keep yourself ready in all prayer, so that when the time comes then you’re able to do great healings and good works towards those whom the Lord leads you to bring salvation and deliverance in their lives.
- If you have any doubts towards doing any good deed be humble enough to ask the Lord for his good counsel instead of rejecting doing good altogether.
- The Holy Spirit will work through you if surrender to Will of God.
Make the most of your time because the days are evil
O fellow believers in Jesus take heed; Make the most of your time because the days are evil.
Now before you think this is about earthly and worldly progress, try to understand the context of this Bible verse. Let’s go ahead:
- This verse obviously doesn’t speak about how much money you make but yes it doesn’t tell you to be careless.
- This verse is not about how much productive you can be but yes it doesn’t tell you to be lazy.
- This verse is not about how much friends you make but yes it doesn’t tell you to make enemies of those who are good.
What this verse really means should be take context of the Gospel. A few key points:
Avoiding sin is still a major command of the Gospel. Those who think otherwise will totally miss out on being imitators of Christ and lose their inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God.
Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children. 2 And walk in love, as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us, a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God. 3 But fornication and all impurity or covetousness must not even be named among you, as is fitting among saints. 4 Let there be no filthiness, nor silly talk, nor levity, which are not fitting; but instead let there be thanksgiving. 5 Be sure of this, that no fornicator or impure man, or one who is covetous (that is, an idolater), has any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God. (Ephesians 5:1-5)
Don’t be deceived by those who claim that once you have accepted the Gospel, you can turn your back on it without the consequences that follow.
6 Let no one deceive you with empty words, for it is because of these things that the wrath of God comes upon the sons of disobedience. (Ephesians 5:6)
Don’t walk in fellowship with those who disobey the Living God, because now that you are of the light in the Lord and must learn to do what is pleasing to God.
7 Therefore do not associate with them, 8 for once you were darkness, but now you are light in the Lord; walk as children of light 9 (for the fruit of light is found in all that is good and right and true), 10 and try to learn what is pleasing to the Lord. (Ephesians 5:6)
Expose the works of darkness but don’t take part in yourself, because these works are vile and wicked. And do remember that the light of God will expose these things
11 Take no part in the unfruitful works of darkness, but instead expose them. 12 For it is a shame even to speak of the things that they do in secret; 13 but when anything is exposed by the light it becomes visible, for anything that becomes visible is light. 14 Therefore it is said,
“Awake, O sleeper, and arise from the dead,
and Christ shall give you light.” (Ephesians 5:11-14)
Make the most of your time because the days are evil. You know the world around you is living in sin and getting more evil. Therefore, do no be drunk nor foolish. But instead understand God’s will and be filled the Holy Spirit. Do not be ashamed of voicing your faith in front of fellow believers, and most importantly praise Jesus Christ and the Lord our God with all your heart.
15 Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise men but as wise, 16 making the most of the time, because the days are evil. 17 Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is. 18 And do not get drunk with wine, for that is debauchery; but be filled with the Spirit, 19 addressing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody to the Lord with all your heart, 20 always and for everything giving thanks in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ to God the Father. (Ephesians 5:15-20)
Christ be with you as you make the most of your time because the days are evil!
About presumptuous sins
There is a way that seems right to a man, but its end is the way to death. (Proverbs 14:12 )
Presuming things have caused people lots of harm and heart break. Let me make it real to you;
1) Some people assumed that not wearing the seat belt is harmless, and then got hurt severely in the car that they were in.
2) Some people have assumed that they can speak anything to their spouses and get away from it, and then have been fighting nasty divorce cases instead.
3) I know of people who’ve spoken vile words to their father and that very day their father died later in the same day due to a heart attack. And now these people forever regret their harsh words.
4) Some girls and boys in have tried drugs that are very much illegal just for fun but died on their very first try. And their parents have been in grief ever since that.
The sin of King Saul:
And then we have the case of the first King of Israel Saul who presumed what he felt was right in doing and thereby rejected the whole instruction of the Lord God. And so the Prophet Samuel was sent to him to inform him of God’s punishment for the sin of presumption. You can read the whole of 1 Samuel Chapter 15 to get the details on this.
Because King Saul acted very presumptuously against the commandment of the Lord God he had to hear the following from the Prophet Samuel;
“Has the Lord as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices,
as in obeying the voice of the Lord?
Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice,
and to listen than the fat of rams.
For rebellion is as the sin of divination,
and presumption is as iniquity and idolatry.
Because you have rejected the word of the Lord,
he has also rejected you from being king.”
Saul said to Samuel, “I have sinned, for I have transgressed the commandment of the Lord and your words, because I feared the people and obeyed their voice. Now therefore, please pardon my sin and return with me that I may bow before the Lord.” And Samuel said to Saul, “I will not return with you. For you have rejected the word of the Lord, and the Lord has rejected you from being king over Israel.” As Samuel turned to go away, Saul seized the skirt of his robe, and it tore. And Samuel said to him, “The Lord has torn the kingdom of Israel from you this day and has given it to a neighbor of yours, who is better than you. And also the Glory of Israel will not lie or have regret, for he is not a man, that he should have regret.” (1 Samuel 15:22-29)
If you think by the coming of Jesus Christ and with the preaching of the Gospel, we need not bother about presumptuous sins, are you unfortunately in the wrong.
The Sin of Ananias and Sapphira:
You can refer to Acts 5:1-11 about The Sin of Ananias and Sapphira
A man by the name of Ananias and his wife, Sapphira, sold some land. 2 He kept back part of the money for himself. His wife knew it also. The other part he took to the missionaries. 3 Peter said to Ananias, “Why did you let Satan fill your heart? He made you lie to the Holy Spirit. You kept back part of the money you got from your land. 4 Was not the land yours before you sold it? After it was sold, you could have done what you wanted to do with the money. Why did you allow your heart to do this? You have lied to God, not to men.”
5 When Ananias heard these words, he fell down dead. Much fear came on all those who heard what was done. 6 The young men got up and covered his body and carried him out and buried him.
7 About three hours later his wife came in. She did not know what had happened.
8 Peter said to her, “Tell me, did you sell the land for this amount of money?” She said, “Yes.” 9 Then Peter said to her, “How could you two have talked together about lying to the Holy Spirit? See! Those who buried your husband are standing at the door and they will carry you out also.” 10 At once she fell down at his feet and died. When the young men came in, they found that she was dead. They took her out and buried her beside her husband. 11 Much fear came on all the church and on all who heard it.
Ananias and Sapphira presumed that they could lie to the Holy Spirit about withholding their offerings towards the ministry of the Gospel of Jesus Christ!
Why do people presume that the Holy Spirit cannot take action against those who sin against Him?
Maybe they have forgotten that each judgement that the Lord God has ever taken, be it against the Fallen Angels, Adam and Eve, the vile Pharaoh of Egypt, the Holy Spirit has never contradicted the Word of God when it comes to judgement against sin. But you O people of God, do not forget this lest you suffer the same fate as Saul or even like that of Ananias and Sapphira.
Verses for reflection:
- Keep back your servant also from presumptuous sins; let them not have dominion over me! Then I shall be blameless, and innocent of great transgression. (Psalm 19:13)
- Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths. (Proverbs 3:5-6)
- Who can discern his errors? Declare me innocent from hidden faults. Keep back your servant also from presumptuous sins; let them not have dominion over me! Then I shall be blameless, and innocent of great transgression. (Psalm 19:12-13)
- Or do you presume on the riches of his kindness and forbearance and patience, not knowing that God’s kindness is meant to lead you to repentance? (Romans 2:4)
- Come now, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go into such and such a town and spend a year there and trade and make a profit”— yet you do not know what tomorrow will bring. What is your life? For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes. Instead you ought to say, “If the Lord wills, we will live and do this or that.” As it is, you boast in your arrogance. All such boasting is evil. (James 4:13-16)
Never rashly presume things to be holy especially when making vows in marriage
It is a snare to say rashly, “It is holy,” and to reflect only after making vows. (Proverbs 20:25)
There are people at times who rush into getting married. These rashly say they are doing what is holy since they love their soon-to-be spouse and their soon-to-be spouse loves them. And five years post marriage, there are arguments in their marriage, with the eventual divorce.
These never checked each others temperament nor adaptability before marriage. They just only “saw” love but didn’t both to check the truth. I mean the truth about being long term, even till death do them apart upon getting married. These are the one’s who make their wedding vows first and only few years later reflect if they made the right decision. “A few years later”, yes that’s correct.
Instead of checking things out before marriage they only do their assessment of marriage much later. Now not every divorce happens due to rash decisions going into marriage, there could be other things which might have not been possible to detect earlier, but I do hope you get the idea that faulty plans can get into faulty marriages.
Yet, if these couples who are thinking of divorce get Bible based counsel or just pray with sincerity to the Lord God they can save their marriages from ending into disaster.
Now, the Biblical warning mentioned above in Proverbs 20:25 is not limited to marriage vows. It can be your business decisions, various types of contracts, friendship agreements and anything that involves taking oaths, including taking the oath of speaking the truth in the court of law.
Be wise everywhere for the glory of God!
Casting down imaginations and all that exalts itself against the knowledge of God
O dear believers in Jesus Christ the Son of the Living God, O take heed to the warnings of old. These are the warnings given to us by those who lived with Jesus in his earthly ministry. Learn from it, because you will profit. Observe them, so that your steps are on sold ground.
1Now I Paul myself beseech you by the meekness and gentleness of Christ, who in presence am base among you, but being absent am bold toward you: 2 But I beseech you, that I may not be bold when I am present with that confidence, wherewith I think to be bold against some, which think of us as if we walked according to the flesh. 3 For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war after the flesh: 4 (For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds;) 5 Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ (2 Corinthians 10:1-5)
These vain ideas were present in the times of the early church and even more now. Heresy and blasphemy has increased even more now. In the name of equality and freedom, the very things that enslave the minds of men and women are now being promoted.
Let me make it real to you:
Some people think its okay to keep on sinning continually, till their time of dying arrives and only then repent. However I’d say ‘Do not put the Lord your God to the test’ to such people. Do remember ; Everyone who makes a practice of sinning also practices lawlessness; sin is lawlessness. (1 John 3:4)
Then there are those that think that worshiping false gods while claiming to be Christian is fine because the Lord God is too loving to judge them. There are in for a nasty surprise in the afterlife for those who cling to false gods won’t enter heaven. Only in Jesus Christ there is salvation. Remember this ; And there is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.” (Acts 4:12)
Certain people think of the Lord God as a ever permissive father who will support their evil and selfish deeds, just he loves them unconditionally, are completely in the wrong. By doing their bad deeds and not repenting for them they themselves have chosen to fall away from the grace of God. Memorize this ; “For it is impossible for those who were once enlightened, and have tasted of the heavenly gift, and were made partakers of the Holy Ghost, And have tasted the good word of God, and the powers of the world to come, If they shall fall away, to renew them again unto repentance; seeing they crucify to themselves the Son of God afresh, and put him to an open shame.” (Heb. 6:4-6)
Then then are people who want to practice witchcraft while staying in communion with the Lord God. You can either serve the Lord God or witchcraft. You cannot serve both. Do remember this well ; Now the works of the flesh are evident: sexual immorality, impurity, sensuality, idolatry, sorcery, enmity, strife, jealousy, fits of anger, rivalries, dissensions, divisions, envy, drunkenness, orgies, and things like these. I warn you, as I warned you before, that those who do such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.
O dear beloved believer in Jesus Christ, these things mentioned above involve discernment and having an active trust in the Word of God. For the doubting its very difficult, therefore do no live in doubt but in faith and prayer in these times.
17 But you must remember, beloved, the predictions of the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ. 18 They said to you, “In the last time there will be scoffers, following their own ungodly passions.” 19 It is these who cause divisions, worldly people, devoid of the Spirit. 20 But you, beloved, building yourselves up in your most holy faith and praying in the Holy Spirit, 21 keep yourselves in the love of God, waiting for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ that leads to eternal life. 22 And have mercy on those who doubt; 23 save others by snatching them out of the fire; to others show mercy with fear, hating even the garment stained by the flesh. (Jude 1:17-23)
A prayer for wisdom
O Lord God, I come before you in humble surrender.
I repent of all my sins including that of following worldly wisdom.
Guide me O good Jesus that I do what is wise and prudent.
By the Holy Spirit lead me in the path that is good.
And warn me whenever there is danger, so that I may escape.
Keep me away from selfishness, hate and malice so I remain sin free.
Give me knowledge, so that I can help those in poverty and need.
Remove from me all folly of heart and mind as you gently lead me.
Teach me to be generous and not be greedy so that I truly live in faith.
I desire that the wisdom you give me is used only for good and not evil.
Bless me with the insight to be just and true to all whom interact with.
And cause me to live a life worthy of the Gospel.
I ask this in your Holy Name. Amen.
Hold On To Wisdom From Above
Hold on to wisdom from above,
Live worthy of Divine love.
Never by sinners be enticed,
Instead hold on to the Lord Jesus Christ.
Reject all knowledge that pollutes,
Protect your fruit right from your root.
Do not fear anyone nor anything,
But to the love of God you cling.
Hang on to thoughts that are pure,
And in the Spirit you endure.
Avoid the wide path that’s lawless,
When the narrow path of purity is flawless.
Do not listen to foolish advice
Do not listen to foolish advice,
Lest you end up paying the price.
For many have desired sinful pleasure,
Only to lose their life’s treasure.
Wisdom speaks clearly and loud,
Learn from her and be not proud.
Hearing wise words is a good tact,
When followed with the right act.
God desires to see wisdom in all believers,
In that they be prudent in the age of deceivers.
Pray to the Lord for ears that don’t tingle,
So that with false teachers you don’t mingle.