Thursday, September 07, 2006

Changed Hearts

Acts 9:26-27
26When he (Saul/Paul) came to Jerusalem, he tried to join the disciples, but they were all afraid of him, not believing that he really was a disciple. 27But Barnabas took him and brought him to the apostles. He told them how Saul on his journey had seen the Lord and that the Lord had spoken to him, and how in Damascus he had preached fearlessly in the name of Jesus.

My Dear King of Hearts,
I love hearing Your stories of blessed changed souls! They give me hope and light in this dark world swarming with wicked, despicable people. If you could miraculously transform the cold, hard heart of Paul, an executioner of Christians, surely You can change the hideous, hateful hearts of people in my life.

I believe You do break the power of Satan’s strong grip and set his prisoner’s free. Your pure and perfect blood makes the foulest offender clean. You are the King who chooses, cleanses, and changes hearts!

Please dear Lord give me the courage of Barnabas to reach out to a believer with a tarnished reputation. Open my eyes to see beyond their past to their potential. Then, I’ll quietly go into my prayer closet, ask You to remove my fleshly fear, and don a cloak of courage. Full of divine power, I’ll risk my life and reputation to restore them for the glory of Your name. Amen.

Barnabas fearlessly befriended Paul, the most hideous, hateful offender of Christians. After hearing Paul, the former persecutor, prove that Jesus was the Messiah; Barnabas risked his life and reputation to come along side of him. He convinced the apostles that their former enemy was now a vibrant new believer.

Paul went on to write much of the New Testament. Wouldn’t you like to be a Barnabas? He had no idea the impact Paul would have on the church. He simply saw beyond Paul’s past to his potential and befriended him.

Today, I encourage you to look around and find someone with a great big stain on their heart and start encouraging them. You can’t imagine the impact your simple act of kindness could have on the future of the church. That person just might become a 21st century Paul with a powerful life-changing testimony leading many lost souls to Jesus while writing history. Would that not be an amazing blessing? Who will you be a Barnabas to today?

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