November 18, 2016

Acts 22:16 “And now what are you waiting for? Get up, be baptized and wash your sins away, calling on his name.”

The three different records in acts of Saul/Paul’s conversion each give slightly different details, enriching the record. Since Luke was the one doing the writing for all three, that gives us all the more reason to trust their veracity. Acts 9 is simply the historical record, and here and in Acts 26 Luke records how Paul himself told the story. This particular statement by Ananias, as Paul quotes him, is one that I want to say to a lot of people! We all have times of wavering, of being indecisive. The Lord through Ananias told Saul, “Cut that out! Get moving in what you know you need to do.” We all need that sort of “kick in the seat” from time to time, but in the case of commitment to Jesus as Lord and Savior, it’s a matter of life and death. The longer the devil can get people to delay, the more of their joy and peace he can steal, and that’s what he does. (John 10:10) For many people who are born again, one of their responses is, “Why didn’t I do this years ago?” I’ll never forget the testimony of one man I baptized in his 70s, as he was confessing his faith before entering the baptistry. “I feel like I have been living in a fog up until now. What was I doing?” In his case he hadn’t heard the Gospel in his youth, but so many who know the facts of the Gospel fail to commit to Jesus as Lord. This verse certainly applies to them!

I can think of several people I want to say this to even right now! For me, the difficulty is in not giving up on people who hesitate for years, literally. I need to remember how patient God has been with me and extend that patience toward them, but at the same time say what this verse says when the Holy Spirit indicates it’s appropriate. I am not to try to make things happen on my schedule, but always be available to act on God’s schedule. I am to speak the truth in love, allowing the Holy Spirit to use my words to strip away the lies of the devil and help people see themselves and see Christ. When that happens, they will indeed stop wavering and will be born into God’s family.

Father, thank You for this reminder. You know the people who came to mind as I wrote. Keep me from hesitating to say or do anything You want me to. May I walk in the fellowship of obedience, acting as Your agent to all around me, for their salvation and Your glory. Thank You. Hallelujah!


About jgarrott

Born and raised in Japan of missionary parents. Have been here as an adult missionary since 1981.
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