Are you giving out of your abundance?

When you think of giving, do you think of money?  This is usually the case for most people, but do you know you can give something far more valuable than money?

In the 9th chapter in book of Acts, Ananias was called by God to go see Saul of Tarsus.  Saul of Tarsus would persecute the Christians, and his reputation went before him. Ananias did not want to pay him a visit, but the Lord assured him he (Saul)  was a chosen vessel of God, to bear His name before Gentiles, kings, and the children of Israel.

Ananias obeyed, and in doing so, he prayed for Saul. What happened next was awesome.  Saul, who was blinded on the road to Damascus, regained his sight, arose and was baptized in the Holy Spirit.

Ananias did not offer food, clothing or housing.  He did not offer Saul money. Instead, he prayed for him, and Saul received healing.

I have come across many a Ananias in my life.  These were people that encouraged me, prayed for me, provided words of wisdom, and correction among many other things.   Because I have been received so much from others, I look for opportunities where I can give back.

I do not know how much of a relationship Ananias had with Saul throughout the years, but one thing is sure. Ananias was instrumental and a key part in Saul´s life, who later became the Apostle Paul.

What would have happened if Ananias did not obey God?

So I ask myself, how have I been an Ananias to others that cross my path?  Do I  meet their needs, do I pray for them, invite them to a cup of coffee or lunch?  Do I offer counseling, advice, encouragement or correction?

What would our lives be like if we choose not to offer of our abundance?   I think it would be a lonely life.   We all have something of value to offer; good conversation, guidance, prayer, support, and correction when needed.

Where would I be today had it not been for the many Ananias that have crossed my path?

I do know this.   All we have is from God, and He loves it when we give it away.  When we give, God loves to give back more.

Are you giving out of your abundance?  If not try it, it will bring joy and fulfillment to your life.

Why we should all arise and go into the city

New York Skyline
New York Skyline

Acts chapter 9 relates the story about Saul, (later known as Paul) well known and feared for persecuting the Christians.  As he is on his way to do more harm, he is blinded, and falls to the ground on the road to Damascus.

Saul ask who are you, “Lord?”   Jesus confirms his suspicions. He replies, “I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting.”

While on the ground, trembling and blind, we see how quickly Saul changes sides.  He goes from persecuting those of the Way, to asking Jesus, “What do you want me to do?”

The Lord replies with ¨ Arise and go into the city, and you will be told what to do.”

This was the first step of obedience that Paul did.  He arose and went to the city.  His change was so radical, that he became a follower of Christ.  Thanks to the Apostle Paul, we have most of the  New Testament written by him.

I saw several things here.

First the Lord can do anything to draw a person to himself.  This gives me hope, because I know the Lord can turn around the most messed up person to serve him in a most amazing way.

Second, The Lord gave one directive to Paul.  Arise and go to the city.

Third, just obey.

The Lord did not lay out his whole life plan at one time.  He gave it to him, one step at a time.

If the Lord had told him his whole life story, about his imprisonment, stone beatings, being shipwrecked, missionary trips, do you think Paul would have backed out?   I think I would have.

I have a secret for you.  We are not supposed to have the full picture.

When we begin our walk with the Lord, He gives us only so much, one step at a time. For that I am grateful.

God´s ways and plans are always bigger than ours.  As we continue our walk in obedience, the Lord is faithful to equip us to fulfill the calling upon our life.

For us to fulfill our calling there are two things we need to do.  We need to ask the Lord what He would like us to do, and we need to arise and go into the city.  It is then He will gives us the next phase of the plan.