Today’s Reading: Acts 13:9-10 NIV
9 Then Saul, who was also called Paul, filled with the Holy Spirit, looked straight at Elymas and said, 10 “You are a child of the devil and an enemy of everything that is right! You are full of all kinds of deceit and trickery. Will you never stop perverting the right ways of the Lord?”
At first glance, the Apostle Paul’s words may seem harsh. The truth is - all of us need a little tough love every now and then, especially when our thoughts, words and actions are leading others astray. Elymas, also known as Bar-Jesus, had been hired on the Proconsul’s payroll, specifically to help him discern Truth. Elymas chose to believe in and worship false gods. He practiced sorcery, and encouraged his employer to do the same. Lost amid his own strange delusions, Elymas became an enemy of the Lord Jesus Christ. Have you ever been misled by someone you trust? Are you responsible for leading others away from the Truth?
Each of us will make life choices that carry grave consequences. Our words and actions bear witness to the faith we profess. We must be very certain in whom we choose to place our faith, because our lives utterly depend upon it. With so many religious traditions and philosophies of thought practiced around the world, how do we know for certain who to believe?
Paul understood the heart of Elymas. Paul had once persecuted believers and put many of these new Christian converts to death. It was only when Jesus Christ appeared before him, knocking Paul off his high horse and causing him to go instantly blind, that Paul realized he had been misinformed, and thereby was misleading others in faith. Paul found Christ’s mercy and forgiveness poured out for him at the foot of the cross. Is it no wonder that Paul chose to speak the harsh words which Elymas desperately needed to hear?
It can be excruciatingly painful to be confronted with the Truth. The arms of Jesus Christ are long enough to reach you, no matter where you are or what you have previously believed. Take a step of faith today and ask the Father to reveal His Truth to you. A personal testimony is often borne from the adversities we experience in life. When you read the eyewitness accounts of men and women, just like you, who first doubted and now believe; when you ask Jesus Christ to come into your heart and be Lord of your life, doubts will seemingly disappear in the Truth you’ve received at the foot of the cross.
Grace and peace,
Faith UMC - St. Charles, MO
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