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BEING WITH THE HEAVENLY FATHER -
......DEVOTIONS FOR LAMBS.
No. 183
From Wendy Howard [Editor of Despatch magazine], Sunshine Coast, Qld, Australia.
Access Online  http://www.despatch.cth.com.au/Main/tabco_main .htm

Getting to know God together.

SAUL TURNS INTO PAUL.
Saul was a Jewish man who was furious with the Christian believers. The Lord Jesus had died and had risen again from the dead. He had told His dis-ci-ples to go into all the world and preach the Gospel, the Good News about His death on the Cross for the sin of the world. But the Jews thought the disciples were saying things that were against God and the Old Testament Law. So they began to do horrible things to the Christians, who were now the true Church of the Lord. So did Saul! He had his men chase the Church people and beat them up and even kill them. It was an awful time for believers in Christ Jesus our Lord. Saul even helped to stone to death one of the most wonderful of men that ever lived. His name was Stephen, and he loved and served God until he was murdered. As he died Saul looked on and agreed it was right to kill him! Yes, Saul was a wicked man, and a very proud one as well. He thought he was serving God because he went to the Jewish synagogue, but his heart was not with God at all
(You can read about it in Acts 7: 54-60).

Now something happened to Saul which changed him forever and ever. He was travelling along through many cities with his band of Jews, looking for Christians to arrest them and take them back to Jerusalem to be punished. As he was on a road near Dam-as-cus suddenly around him appeared a light from heaven! Saul was so shocked that he fell to the ground with fear. And he heard a heavenly voice say, “Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou me?”  Or “why are you chasing Me and making Me suffer?”  And Saul said, “Who are you, Lord?”  It was the Lord Jesus Christ Himself, risen from the dead!  Jesus told him that Saul was making Jesus Himself suffer when he chased and hurt His beloved followers. Jesus said then, “I am Jesus whom thou persecutest...” (make suffer and kill). Saul said, “What will You have me do?” Saul was astonished, and he would have realised right away that he was hurting and killing God’s own servants! How ashamed he was later, and for all his life he was so sorry for what he had done to the followers of Jesus Christ. But God forgave him, and saved him from his sin.

Jesus told Saul from out of the great light from heaven that he must go into the city. And when he got up from the ground, Saul was blind. He couldn’t see for three days, and he didn’t eat or drink all that time. Jesus told a man named An-a-nius, who was a follower of Jesus,  what to do when Saul got to Dam-as-cus:
“ And the Lord [said] unto him, Arise, and go into the street which is called Straight, and enquire [ ask] in the house of Judas for [one] called Saul, of Tarsus: for, behold, he prayeth [is praying],  And hath seen in a vision a man named Ananias coming in, and putting [his] hand on him, that he might receive his sight. “

Wonderful things happened then. An-a-nius did put his hands on Saul, and he got back his sight. And Jesus chose Saul to be a special messenger, an apostle. Saul preached the Gospel everywhere, and spoke to thousands of people, great people and simple people, even to kings about Jesus. He spoke all his life to the Jews themselves about how wonderful Jesus was, and how He had died for the sin of every one. He told them Jesus was God come in a human body. So great was the change in Saul, that his name was changed to Paul. He was a changed man so he had a changed name. Paul wrote for God lots of the books in our New Testament in the Bible.
This is something he wrote for God:
“ If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God.” (I Thessalonians 3:1).

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