but the Lord said to him, “go, for he is a chosen instrument of mine to carry my name before the gentiles and kings and the children of Israel. for i will show him how much he must suffer for the sake of my name. [acts 9:15-16]
ananias questioned the Lord.
and the Lord said to him, “rise and go…”
but ananias answered, “Lord, i have heard from many about this man, how much evil he has done…”
[acts 9:11, 13]
and the Lord said it again, “go,…”
we don’t always respond in immediate obedience.
questions are not necessarily sinful, especially when we take them to the Lord. and ananias had a concern, a legit concern that the Lord was asking him to go find a killer of Christ followers. at times, our questions, our concerns cause us to not respond in immediate obedience. our thoughts are, “this isn’t right. this seems illogical. this will hurt. this will fail.” and on and on. we don’t always respond in immediate obedience.
but the Lord always responds with grace and truth.
see the grace.
the Lord speaks directly to ananias again. clearly, directly, and without any condemnation, the Lord speaks again to ananias. what grace. what kindness. what mercy our King has for us who are his. the same mercy and grace that saved the killer paul is the same mercy and grace that is extended to you and i when we do not respond in immediate obedience. he does not kill. he does not exile. he does not condemn. he keeps coming, pursuing, speaking. he is unrelenting in his pursuit of our obedience.
see the truth.
the Lord tells ananias that pauls “is a chosen instrument of mine to carry my name.”
ananias hears the truth. paul is God’s. paul will be God’s instrument. paul will be God’s instrument to take his name to places it has never been. because of God’s grace, ananias heard the truth – the why God wanted him to go and why in this moment it was vital (and safe). we hear truth and can walk in truth because God pours out his grace on us in Jesus through his Spirit.
ananias received grace and then hears the truth.
this is what we received at the cross – grace and truth.
truth that our sin was so bad it required punishment and death.
grace that our God so loves us that he chose Jesus to receive our punishment as he chose us to receive his grace.
grace and truth.
you and i need that today – because we will always stumble in our obedience.
thanks be to God, that Jesus gives us grace and truth by his person and work on the cross.
we need your grace and truth today.
we need your grace that does not condemn. your grace that means you will keep pursuing and that means you will be unrelenting in your love and truth. we need your truth – so we can follow you to freedom and life. please, pour out your grace and truth now, through your Spirit, in our hearts. saturate us now LORD. in Jesus’ name – amen!
~ john ryan