You aren’t without power

Hello blog readers! Today, I’d like to share a few things in reference to the growing number of terror attacks happening around the world. I won’t go into detail about the attacks, because there are many. But, I do want to encourage you. You aren’t without power.

2 Chronicles 7:14 if my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land.

Notice the scripture speaks directly to Christians…not terrorists. “If my people, who are called by my name…” That’s us.

This week in Sunday school, we had an open discussion on Acts chapter 9. It tells the story of Saul — one of the most feared persecutors of Christians of his time– on his way to Damascus.

Acts 9:1-2 Meanwhile, Saul was still breathing out murderous threats against the Lord’s disciples. He went to the high priest and asked him for letters to the synagogues in Damascus, so that if he found any there who belonged to the Way, whether men or women, he might take them as prisoners to Jerusalem.

Saul had every intention of hurting followers of Christ that day. He was literally hunting them…breathing murderous threats! Right in the middle of his wicked intentions, something very powerful happens. He has an encounter with Jesus.

Acts 3:3-5  As he neared Damascus on his journey, suddenly a light from heaven flashed around him. He fell to the ground and heard a voice say to him, “Saul, Saul, why do you persecute me?” “Who are you, Lord?” Saul asked. “I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting,” he replied.

Jesus did not ask “Why do you persecute my followers?”… He asked, “why do you persecute me?” 

It’s important to know that the church is the body of Christ — and Christ is the head of the body. Anyone who attacks the body of Christ, is also attacking Christ.

Colossians 1:18 And he is the head of the body, the church; he is the beginning and the firstborn from among the dead, so that in everything he might have the supremacy.

Saul was very passionate about persecuting Christians . He believed he was doing the right thing. He was no different than ISIS. He was a terrorist. After his encounter with Jesus, Saul’s entire life changed. He was struck blind for days, and immediately after the scales fell from his eyes, he began preaching the gospel. He became Paul. It was such a dramatic, sudden change that Christians were unsure if they could trust him.

In time, Paul grew and was filled with Holy Spirit.  It’s important that I reference those verses to remind you of the power of the Holy Spirit. Although Saul had a wicked heart, God took his heart back. Paul eventually wrote most of the New Testament! He’s one of my personal favorite writers of the bible. God used him to demonstrate the power in changing ONE terrorist! Imagine what he can do by changing two, or three, dozens, or hundreds..

I encourage you to pray for God to take back the hearts of those who persecute Christ. We have the power to intercede!

The heart is a very powerful thing. The bible tells us in Proverbs 4:23 Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it.

(NLV) Guard your heart above all else, for it determines the course of your life.

(ESV) Keep your heart with all vigilance, for from it flow the springs of life.

Most of the terrorists who persecute Christians believe in their heart — like Saul — that they are doing the right thing, according to what they’ve been taught. If we, as believers give the Holy Spirit an invitation to take back the hearts of terrorists, we open the door for Him to do a mighty work. Pray for the scales to fall from their eyes, and that Jesus reveals himself to them. Remember how he changed a cold-hearted killer named Saul..and used Him for God’s glory. God was able to change Saul, and use him in a very powerful way after he had a real encounter with the very one he was persecuting. How great is our God!

The world is in need of prayer. We have the power to intercede on its behalf. God’s word stands forever, and He made a promise:

“if my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land.”

James 5.16

 

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