By Tyson Thorne

February 5, 2014

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Before delving into today’s writing, read Acts 9.18b-.31

"Isn't he the man who raised havoc in Jerusalem among those who call on his name? And hasn't he come here to take them prisoners to the chief priests?"

Over the past few days we have seen the dangers inherent in following Christ. The passage we read today is no different, with one exception: The body of believers begins to take action and help each other. Twice Saul's life was in danger, and twice he slipped through his enemies’ fingers with the assistance of other believers. In fact, Paul owed a debt of thanks to Barnabus who believed him when none of the other apostles would.

The story we read today shows us interesting characteristics of the disciples. For instance, Saul, after his conversion, preached the gospel with boldness; Barnabus chose to trust Saul when no one else would, even though he may have been betraying them into the hands of a murderer; the other disciples, once Saul’s sincerity was confirmed, forgave him even the death of Stephen; every follower welcomed him into the body. The danger of being a Christ-follower developed in them characteristics fitting of the people of God. What characteristics has following Christ developed in you?

On Sunday, the day of resurrection, the church traditionally worships God. This Sunday consider anew the resurrection of Christ, and the implications it has had on your own life. Then consider how you might be able to influence another by living out one of the characteristics you have discovered in today’s reading. Think about how exercising this characteristic may reveal your Christianity in a fresh way to those around you. Take some time today to pray for guidance in discerning how to grow in your Christian life.

He prayed: “O Lord, God of Israel, there is no god like you in heaven above or on earth below! You maintain covenantal loyalty to your servants who obey you with sincerity. May you be attentive to your servant’s and your people Israel’s requests for help and may you respond to all their prayers to you.”

— Solomon, 1 Kings, 8.23&.52

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