Oakley United Methodist Church
Wednesday, May 23, 2018
Bringing Joy to God and Our Neighbors
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As Saul was approaching Damascus, suddenly a light from heaven flashed around him and he fell to the ground.      The men with Saul led him by the hand into Damascus for he was blind. The Lord called to a disciple named Ananias and told him to go and place his   hands on Saul to restore his sight.  Ananias entered the house where Saul was,  placed his hands on him and said, “Brother Saul, the Lord—Jesus, who appeared to you on the road as you were coming here—has sent me so that you may see again and be filled with the Holy Spirit.”

(paraphrased from Acts 9:3-17)

“Being Ananias”
 

     I can identify somewhat with Saul’s calling. Just as he was on the road committed to his job of persecuting            Christ’s followers – I, as well, was on the road heading for a job that I was committed to when the Lord spoke to me. Though my experience was certainly not as profound as Saul’s, it was profound enough to make me pull over to the side of the road in order to deal with the intensity of what had just happened to me.

     Saul was blinded by his experience, but the Lord sent Ananias to him to restore his sight and tell Saul he would be “filled with the Holy Spirit.” When Acts introduces Ananias into Saul’s conversion experience, it reminds me that my true Christian faith journey did not really begin until my wife Debbie was introduced into my life in 2001. 

     Though I had been a Christian my entire life and a dedicated church-goer; I do not believe I would ever have become the Christian I am now if not for my wife. It was Debbie who convinced me to take my first Bible study. It was Debbie who encouraged me to sign up for lay speaker courses. It was Debbie who inspired me to become more involved in community outreach programs. It was my wife, my own "Ananias," who relieved me of my spiritual blindness – giving me true Christian sight and making me fully aware of the Holy Spirit working within me. I am convinced that I would not be in the ministry were it not for her.

     Is there an Ananias in your life? Is there someone helping you to see what it truly means to be a Christian?   What about you yourself?  Are you being an Ananias for others?  Are you providing Christian sight to the spiritually blind?  The Bible tells us that Ananias did not want to follow the Lord’s command to approach Saul.  But, he did, and we all know how well that turned out.  Are you listening for and following God’s command on your life wherever it may take you?  “Being Ananias” means being more like Christ and shouldn’t that be the desire of every Christian?

Blessings, Peace, and Love, 
Pastor Vic