The scripture reading for today is Acts 9:26.
“When Saul arrived in Jerusalem, he tried to meet with the believers, but they were all afraid of him. They did not believe he had truly become a believer! “
Most of us do not handle change well, and we are typically very skeptical of change until proven otherwise. It is even harder for us to accept change in a person who has betrayed you in the past. We find it hard to believe that they have really changed and will continue to live this new and improved life.
Before returning to Jerusalem, Saul had been a persecutor of Christ’s followers and was not well received when he returned as a believer. The Disciples did not trust him and were hesitant to welcome him into their fellowship.
However, Barnabas helped support Saul in his new calling and took the initiative to seek out Saul and listen to his story. Barnabas not only forgave Saul for the pain he had caused but affirmed his conversion and brought him to the apostles to join their ministry. (Fun fact: Barnabas’ name means “Son of Encouragement.” He certainly lived up to his name)
The disciples were probably stunned to see the complete transformation of Saul’s heart! Through the supportive encouragement of Barnabas, they reconciled with Saul and gained a passionate coworker in God’s kingdom.
We all need forgiveness, reconciliation, and affirmation. We have been forgiven and restored in Christ. We are ambassadors of Christ, called to represent him and his offer of grace to others. Is there someone in your life who needs another chance and affirmation? Why not lead the way and hopefully others will follow with forgiveness.
Lord, give me the compassionate strength to reach out and accept someone who needs another chance. Make me a living ambassador of your grace. Amen
Karen DeMauro Karen.firstname.lastname@example.org
Prayer Concern: Those longing to reconcile with loved ones they may have hurt in the past.