From Outsider to Insider – Day 3 – Acts 9.20-30

After Saul’s conversion, two things immediately begin to happen.  Saul immediately starts sharing his faith by declaring the good news of Jesus, and he immediately experiences opposition and persecution from his former friends.  This meant that it was up to Saul’s new family, the church, to support him in the midst of this opposition.  They had to lower him in a basket through the wall of Damascus, and Barnabas had to get close enough to Saul to be able to vouch for him and bring him into the fellowship.  Because this is in the Bible and is a well-known story to us, we can miss how inconvenient all of this must have been to the members of the churches in Damascus and Jerusalem.  They may have thought, “Sure, it’s great that one of our great persecutors is on our side now, but do I really need to be on basket duty tonight?  It sure is tiring trying to convince everyone that Saul is on the level.”  Christian … listen to me!  It took work on the part of the members of the church to help Saul integrate into their fellowship.  It wasn’t easy.  He had baggage.  We say that we want God to bring anyone into the church, but are we willing to provide the support that is required for God to bring in the “messy ones”?  Are we secretly guilty of only wanting God to bring people into our church who won’t inconvenience us too much?  Brothers and sisters, there are some people who will lose most of their friends if they truly come to Christ.  Are we willing to step into that gap?  There are some who will face absolute harassment from their family if they come to Christ.  Are we willing to be their family? If we hope to see God work in the life of a present-day Saul then we must see God work in the life of the present-day church.

From Outsider to Insider – Day 4 – Acts 11.19-30 & 12.24-25

From Outsider to Insider – Day 2 – Acts 9.1-19