Welcome to Week 2! We're going to talk about Saul this week. There is so much to say!
Saul was a Jew, born a Roman citizen. This was prestigious. His dad was a Pharisee and as was Saul. He carried on a rich legacy of being the keeper of the Law, the man who could argue and refute those opposed to the Scriptures better than anyone else.
I plan to write here as if you've read the devotional, so make sure you download your FREE PDF HERE.
In the "Saul" section of Selah, we meet this dogged, tenacious man.
Here's what struck me to the point of shivers...Saul knew the Law inside and out. He practiced the strict customs and traditions to the "T" (and there were many!) From the moment his eyes opened to the moment he laid down again at night, there was not one prayer, action, or custom that he did not faithfully observe. Decades of his life had been devoted to this practice. He ate, slept, and breathed the Law...and yet, he completely missed Jesus as Messiah. He knew the prophecies and Scripture pointing to Jesus better than most and yet he stood with confidence, approving of those being killed for preaching and believing in Jesus' name.
That is sobering.
I can relate. Too many times I've been walking along in my life, sure and settled in what I believed, only to have my eyes opened. The emotion involved in that is often too much to bear. Couple that with leading others astray in their beliefs and it's a perfect concoction for regret and shame. Saul was amazing in that his response wasn't to wallow. He spent 3 days not eating while he undoubtedly considered all he had ever believed, been taught, and taught others. The blood of countless others was on his hands. The realization that he had people killed for proclaiming the Truth that he had himself missed was probably crushing.
But...from the moment Ananias laid hands on him and his sight was restored, Saul ate and then began preaching Jesus! That is the kind of dedication I want. He had to realize the ripple effects that would happen as a result: The talk amongst the Pharisees and even Saul's own family. How did Saul's father feel?
Saul risked his reputation, his family, and his culture because when you come face-to-face with the truth, there is no other reasonable option.
Saul's face hit the dirt and he PAUSED. He spent three days at the house of Judas to PROCESS. And then, the moment he was able, he RESPONDED and began preaching Jesus as Lord.
Where are you on your road to Damasus? Have you encountered Jesus? If so, how did you respond? If not, are you ready? What will your response be?
Welcome! I am SO excited you're here! Let's jump in!
First...have you purchased your printed 8.5X11" copy for $6 or downloaded your FREE PDF yet?
You have? Great! Let's get right to it...
I took some creative liberties with the Introduction as far as Saul's emotions and thoughts as he traveled the road to Damascus in AD 35. The Bible gives us enough information about Saul to surmise what he may have been thinking and what his mood may have been. Allow me to stop here and say this:
***Disclaimer*** Alawys check everything I say against Scripture. I am a very flawed human being and I make mistakes. The Word of God, however, is infallible and inerrant. The Scriptures for each section are included at the beginning and within each section. I MORE than encourage you to read them FIRST. This is actually a non-negotiable. The Word of God MUST be the bedrock of our faith and should be the foundation upon which and the lens through which any of my thoughts are considered.
Saul had an impressive pedigree. His resume was bursting with prestigious accomplishments: A Pharisee, the son of a Pharisee, born a Roman Citizen, star pupil of the revered teacher Gamaliel... He was certainly not lacking in the "things to brag about" department.
He was so good, in fact, that he considered it his personal mission to chase down and capture the outlaw band of believers who wouldn't stop preaching Jesus. And in AD 35, that's exactly what he set out to do. Armed with the appropriate credentials, he began the 130+ mile journey from Jerusalem to Damascus.
Where does the term "Selah" fit into all of this? Surprisingly, it not only makes sense when considered alonsgide Saul's journey, but also when considered in our own lives as well. This week, let's take some time to read the Introduction and the section titled Selah to get us started. We'll reconvene here next week to talk about what God is saying to us through His word. I'm looking forward to that!
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Online Bible Study!
Starting in a little over 2 weeks (September 23, 2017) we will be hosting a FREE Online Bible study for Mandy Pagano's new devotional Selah: On Your Road to Damascus. This is a 6-week study focusing on Saul's conversion and how the interesting word "Selah" applies to him and us. Below is a summary of the study:
Selah is a peculiar term sprinkled throughout the Pslams in the Bible. Scholars are unsure of its exact meaning, but many agree that it signifies a pause, an interruption, or a transition. Selah: On Your Road to Damascus takes a close look at Saul's conversion. Together, we will study each person involved in Saul's conversion and see just how each one's experience applies to our own lives. Join us as we Pause, Process, and Respond to the Lord through His Word and this supplementary devotional. Pack a bag as we embark on a journey alongside a Christian-killer called Saul on a dusty road thousand of years ago...
For all who are interested in joining, for a limited time, you can either purchase a printed, perfect bound, 8.5x11" copy for $6 OR you can download a PDF version for FREE using the code "selahdevo"*
*Special pricing for the printed devotional and free PDF will expire Oct 7, 2017.
We're really looking forward to this study and hope you'll join us!