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BEING WITH THE HEAVENLY FATHER -
......DEVOTIONS FOR LAMBS.
No. 184
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.

PAUL HAS MANY ADVENTURES!
After Saul met  the risen Jesus on the road to Damascus he became a devoted Christian. And God changed him to Paul. Of course it took time for the other disciples of the Lord Jesus to accept him. You can guess why! They were afraid because he had been their worst enemy, and they were a bit worried probably that he was faking it so he could capture some of them! Paul became the greatest of Jesus’ apostles - or special leaders. No wonder Satan made sure poor Paul got lots of trouble and that wicked people made him suffer. Paul had a lot of trouble from other people when he was at Damascus. Finally he escaped out of that city in a basket! Yes, a basket. After Ananias put his hands on Saul, and he could see again, stuff like scales of a fish fell from his eyes. Then the new Saul got up and was baptised in water, to show he was new in Jesus Christ his Lord.  Saul rested for a few days, then he went to the Jewish church, called a synagogue, and told them all about Jesus being the special One from God, the Messiah. How brave! Here is what happened:

“ And straightway [ straight away] he [Saul] preached Christ in the synagogues, that he is the Son of God.   But all that heard [him] were amazed, and said; Is not this he that destroyed them which called on this name in Jerusalem, and came hither [ here] for that intent [ reason], that he might bring them bound [ tied up ]unto the chief priests?  But Saul increased [ grew] the more in strength, and confounded [ amazed] the Jews which dwelt [ lived] at Damascus, proving that this is very Christ.  And after that many days were fulfilled [ went by], the Jews took counsel [ agreed together] to kill him:  But their laying await [ plan to get him] was known of Saul. And they watched the gates day and night to kill him [the city gates].  Then the disciples took him by night, and let him down by the wall
[ the city wall] in a basket.  And when Saul was come to [ got to ] Jerusalem, he assayed [ tried] to join himself to the disciples: but they were all afraid of him, and believed not that he was a disciple.
( Acts 9: 20-26).

Well, here was a pretty situation for Paul, who once was Saul! The people who were once his enemies he wanted to be his friends, and the friends he once had were now his enemies. Instead of Saul trying to trap Christians to kill, the Jews were now chasing Saul to try to kill him! Oh dear, but the new Paul had met Jesus, and he would never be the same again. Everything had changed, he would never have gone back to be the old Saul again for anything. He was no longer respected and honoured, he was on the run with the rest of the Christians. But he preached about Jesus everywhere, even at the risk of his life. Why? Because He loved Jesus so much, and Saul had found eternal Life in Him.

Lots of things happened to Paul over the years he served God. He was whipped many times and put in prison, bound up with chains, shipwrecked and even bitten by a nasty poisonous snake. Read about that “viper” and how God saved Paul in Acts 27:41-44.
When you and I really stand up for Jesus things can get a bit tough sometimes.
Believers in Jesus may have to suffer nastiness from people in their own families, or in their neighbourhoods, or even from false church leaders! But it is all worth it, because what Jesus did for us on the Cross is the greatest thing that ever happened. Jesus is worth standing up for, He is the GREATEST Man Who ever live - by far! Here is a promise from God to YOU:
“There hath no temptation [ trouble and testing] taken you [ that comes to you] but such as is common to man [ every person who trusts Jesus has them]: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able [ God won’t let you suffer so much that you can’t stand it ]; but will with the temptation [trouble and testing] also make a way to escape [ God will make a way for you to get out of the troubles], that ye may be able to bear it. “
( I Corinthians 10:13).

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