I recently finished reading the book of Acts which I’d recommend to anyone. But the last few chapters, particularly, are really gripping reading! We hear of Paul’s long and arduous journey to Rome, having appealed to Caesar in the face of certain assassination by the Jewish leaders. Between chapter 22 and the end he speaks at length to various people and groups including the Jews who were trying to kill him, the Roman commander in Jerusalem, Governor Felix, Governor Festus and King Agrippa. And although some of what he says is his defence against the charges the Jews were bringing, most of what he says is what we might call his testimony. He speaks of his former life as a Zealous Jew, his conversion on the Damascus road and what God called him to do following this. It’s obvious Paul wanted others to know about what God had done for him but I think it benefitted him too – in a time of real uncertainty he was reminding himself of who God is and what he had done for him.
I think most of us sense a certain amount of uncertainty at the moment – when will the lock-down in its current form end? Will there be further restrictions before it gets better? When will I be able to work normally again? When will my kids be able to go back to school? When will I be able to meet in person with the church again?
So really simply today, I just want to encourage you to at least remind yourself of what you were, what God did for you through Jesus and who God is now. But even better if you verbalised it – tell someone you live with – do they actually know? In any phone or video calls you have in the coming days – can you get at least something of what God has done for you in there; or talk about some character of God you have been recognising recently?
As Christians, like the Colossians, once we were alienated from God and were enemies with Him because of our evil behaviour. But as we became Christians, God reconciled us through Christ’s death and we are now holy in His sight, without blemish and free from accusation (Col. 1:21-22). Isn’t this a comfort to remind ourselves of in amongst all our uncertainty?
And what do we read of God’s character in His word? Amongst many, many other things, we can remind ourselves regularly of His sovereignty. I came across Isaiah 45 recently; a repeated phrase is ‘I am the Lord, and there is no other’. It speaks of how He forms light and creates darkness, how he brings prosperity and creates disaster and how He declares what is right. It reminds us, His creation, that we have no right to question his work and ways. But throughout, it also speaks of how God will save those who turn to Him and that he’s working for the good of His people; an idea picked up in that well known verse in Romans 8.
Here’s your reminder for today: God has saved you from your sin and is in control of everything that’s going on. How will you ensure you remind yourself of this tomorrow and the day after?
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