Preparing My Heart
Faith took the apostle from Saul to Paul. Faith took him to repentance before God. Faith took him to the Jews and to the Gentiles. Faith took him to prison, to the king, to Caesar, to death, and to heaven. Faith worked in Paul “works meet for repentance.”
Faith takes me places as well. But where? Surely I don’t figure on having a powerless, inactive faith! Faith takes me places. But when? Surely I don’t think I’ll just get along with a slow-to-obey faith!
Making the Bible Personal
What heavenly vision of service do I have?
How does my life demonstrate repentance and turning toward God?
Will I ever outgrow the need for repentance?
What are the characteristics of a faithful witness?
What are “the words of truth and soberness”?
How does this passage illustrate the Biblical way to “speak truth to power”?
Reviewing Basic Truths
The heavenly vision must be obeyed.
Repentance is not enough if it does not include turning to God.
Like faith, repentance works.
God helps the faithful.
Applying God’s Word to Me
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Courageous witness. Hmmm. That you? Well, most of the time I don’t think about self-adhering that label. When I do think about the subject of witnessing, I don’t associate courage with me.
Courage. How do I get it? The Bible says that David “encouraged himself in the Lord his God” (1 Samuel 30:6). I don’t know the specifics of how he did that, but maybe you and I could encourage ourselves in God’s Word.
“Be strong and of a good courage, fear not, nor be afraid of them: for the LORD thy God, he it is that…” (Deuteronomy 31:6).
“Be of good courage, and he shall strengthen your heart, all ye that hope in the LORD” (Psalm 31:24).
“They helped every one his neighbour; and every one said to his brother, Be of good courage” (Isaiah 41:6).
“And let us not be weary in well doing: for…” (Galatians 6:9).
“Be strong in the Lord, and in the power of…” (Ephesians 6:10).
“And for me…that I may open my mouth boldly, to make known the mystery of the gospel” (Ephesians 6:19).
“And many of the brethren in the Lord, waxing confident by my bonds, are much more bold to speak the word…” (Philippians 1:14).
“Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us” (Ephesians 3:20).
So…how do I become a courageous witness?
The same way as did the elders of Hebrews 11 — “By faith….”
This concludes my comments based on the passage for the International Bible Lesson. To read my comments on the alternate lesson developed by Christian Light Publications, click here: Saul — From Persecutor to Preacher.