Friday, October 27, 2023

Do You Not Want THE Key?

Do You Not Want THE Key?
by David Brenneman 

"Now Saul, still breathing threats and murder against the disciples of the Lord, went to the high priest, and asked for letters from him to the synagogues at Damascus, so that if he found any belonging to the Way, both men and women, he might bring them bound to Jerusalem. As he was traveling, it happened that he was approaching Damascus, and suddenly a light from heaven flashed around him; and he fell to the ground and heard a voice saying to him, “Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting Me?” And he said, “Who are You, Lord?” And He said, “I am Jesus whom you are persecuting, but get up and enter the city, and it will be told you what you must do.”  The men who traveled with him stood speechless, hearing the voice but seeing no one.  Saul got up from the ground, and though his eyes were open, he could see nothing; and leading him by the hand, they brought him into Damascus. And he was three days without sight, and neither ate nor drank. Now there was a disciple at Damascus named Ananias; and the Lord said to him in a vision, “Ananias.” And he said, “Here I am, Lord.” And the Lord said to him, “Get up and go to the street called Straight, and inquire at the house of Judas for a man from Tarsus named Saul, for he is praying,  and he has seen in a vision a man named Ananias come in and lay his hands on him, so that he might regain his sight.” But Ananias answered, “Lord, I have heard from many about this man, how much harm he did to Your saints at Jerusalem;  and here he has authority from the chief priests to bind all who call on Your name.”  But the Lord said to him, “Go, for he is a chosen instrument of Mine, to bear My name before the Gentiles and kings and the sons of Israel; for I will show him how much he must suffer for My name’s sake.”  So Ananias departed and entered the house, and after laying his hands on him said, “Brother Saul, the Lord Jesus, who appeared to you on the road by which you were coming, has sent me so that you may regain your sight and be filled with the Holy Spirit.”  And immediately there fell from his eyes something like scales, and he regained his sight, and he got up and was baptized;  and he took food and was strengthened. Now for several days he was with the disciples who were at Damascus, and immediately he began to proclaim Jesus in the synagogues, saying, “He is the Son of God.”  ‭‭Acts‬ ‭9:1‭-‬20‬.

Did you see?  Did you catch what had happened?  Later on in testifying of his own credentials, Paul, aka Saul, was one of THE most learned of his time in regards to the Word of God...the entire Old Testament.  One of the most learned yet...the lock had never been turned...never ever had been opened as to the truth of God's word to him. 

In those days of silence and solitude, Saul was in deep communication with Jesus.  The Spirit was showing him "great and wonderful things that he did not know".

The world we live in is in that same darkness that Saul was in before coming to Christ for salvation.  Nobody who embraces the darkness of this sinful world will see what it is the Spirit testifies to about Jesus.

We don't need to over complicate the message of the Gospel.  The Father refused to complicate it so that even a child could understand it.  You do not need some form of higher education.  Do not even need seminary teaching.  Do not need a high intelligence quotient.  What does the Bible say? Faith comes by hearing and hearing by the Word of God.

Certifications, degrees, completions of courses, are not at all necessary to unlock the Word of God. 

It takes faith in Christ Jesus. It takes a willing heart, it takes trust in God. Had Jesus not interceded in Saul's life, his higher education in regards to what the priest's taught would not have saved him.  He would have died in his own sins just as most of his compatriots will do or had already done.

Jesus has already testified in regards to this.  Many will say on that day "Lord, Lord! We did this in your name, and that in your name!  He will say depart from Me for I never knew you."  

Had Jesus not stopped Saul...Saul, for all his intense knowledge of God...would have been one of those "many".

In those days of being sight less, Saul was getting a spiritual education.  Was in deep conversations with Jesus.  Was being shown every single place where he had missed in the Word of God where Jesus was mentioned.  Was shown because the key, Jesus, was put in the lock of the mind of Saul, and had been turned.  An obvious lock that we don't see we have ourselves. 

Only the Spirit can teach the true things of God to mankind.  We view teachers in schools as those who unlock the potential in students.  Showing them the path towards learning.  Teachers taught me and showed me the possibilities.  

You cheat yourself if you're not seeking first His kingdom and His righteousness. You cheat yourself if you are not making time for Jesus and yourself.  
You are just as blind as Saul had been if you aren't pursuing a right relationship with Jesus. 

Entertainment doesn't matter in light of eternity. 
Sports doesn't matter in light of eternity. 
Recreation doesn't matter in light of eternity.
Devotion and dedication to your employer doesn't mean anything in light of eternity. 

Your personal happiness does not mean anything beneficial in light of eternity. 

Your personal relationship with Jesus Christ means everything in light of eternity. 

Do you, my Dear Reader, want to hear Jesus mention you as His Friend or as one whom He will say He doesn't know?

Are your thoughts on you getting what you want, when you want it, more important to you than whatever is important to Jesus?

This is so so important to grasp.  Jesus said that He is a jealous God.  Jealous for our hearts and minds. Wanting first place in importance.  We do not see clearly enough just how subtly we keep things in or near our hearts that have no business being there. 

We are in a culture that prides itself on idolatry and calls it everything but that.

We often begrudgingly go to church for an hour or two, yet look forward to many hours of sports. 

We often grumble about spending time in our Bible yet will seek out everything else that can occupy our minds on any other subject.

We will be intentional on texting or calling people yet neglect or forget to call Jesus.

We make, whether or not we acknowledge it, our own will as being more important than the Will of God. 

Look at the way people of the beginning of the Church lived.  How they selflessly gave up whatever they owned or did in order to have deep relationships with each other in Christ.  They helped each other get out of debt.   Providing for each other in regards to food.  Did whatever they did or spoke to edify others in Christ.  They had a real relationship with Jesus.  They weren't hoarders, weren't selfish.  Ananias was obviously used to hearing verbally from Jesus.  We get nothing at all to indicate that he was surprised to hear Jesus talk to him.  

My Dear Reader...if you are truly in Christ...if you indeed say that you believe and are saved...what are you making more important than knowing Him?   

Which will it be?  Welcome! or Depart from Me, for I never knew you. 

Nobody will ever see Heaven based on works alone. Nobody will get there on their own merits or reputation for how well they lived to help others.  Nobody will get there based on their IQ or anything else. 

Are you at all eager to learn more, see more, do more for Jesus?  Is that at all important to you?   

Put the key in and ask the Spirit to turn it. Ask Him to show you great and wonderful things that you did not know.  Jesus didn't willingly die for you just to punch you a ticket to go live for yourself until it was time to go. He’s waiting to hear from you. 

All NASB 1995 and NASB Scripture Excerpts used by permission. (C) Lockman Foundation.

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