• God's Waiting Room

    | Mar 25, 2024
    If you go back fourteen years from the time Paul wrote the second letter to the believers at Corinth, that places him at the time he was waiting in Tarsus. Quite possibly, during one of his numerous floggings he received . . . , he lapsed into a semi-conscious state.
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  • Out of the Shadows

    | Mar 24, 2024
    Some of you who read these words today could use a little extra hope, especially if you find yourself in a waiting mode. You were once engaged in the action, doing top-priority work on the front lines. No longer.
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  • Stubborn Independence

    | Mar 23, 2024
    Rather than considering yourself (even secretly) indispensable, remind yourself often, It's the Lord's work to be done the Lord's way. I first heard that principle from Francis Schaeffer while attending one of his lectures.
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  • Humble Reliance

    | Mar 22, 2024
    Wasn't it a waste of great talent for God to put Paul on hold? Not at all. Wasn't Tarsus a strange assignment? Not if He wanted him to be prepared to write the letter to the Romans.
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  • The Value of Others

    | Mar 21, 2024
    The Message, Eugene Peterson's paraphrase, wraps up this part of the narrative nicely: "Things calmed down after that and the church had smooth sailing for a while. All over the country—Judea, Samaria, Galilee—the church grew.
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  • Son of Encouragement

    | Mar 20, 2024
    The disciples feared Saul. They couldn't bring themselves to believe he was a disciple. "But Barnabas . . . " Isn't that a great opening? Out of nowhere comes Barnabas to encourage Saul and be his personal advocate.
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  • A Lesser Known

    | Mar 19, 2024
    Act two of the drama opens with, "When he came to Jerusalem . . . " (v. 26). Jerusalem! Saul owned Jerusalem. He went to graduate school in that great town. I mean, the man knew that old city like the back of his hand.
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  • Slow Down!

    | Mar 18, 2024
    Part of the solution is to pursue the benefits of solitude and silence found in times of obscurity. For the first time in seven years, I took six weeks off one summer. No preaching, no writing, no counseling, no speaking engagements . . . no nothing.
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  • Desert Retreat

    | Mar 17, 2024
    I'm convinced it was there, in that barren place of obscurity, that Paul developed his theology. He met God, intimately and deeply. Silently and alone, he plumbed the unfathomable mysteries of sovereignty, election, depravity, the deity of Christ.
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  • A Forgotten Hero

    | Mar 16, 2024
    The transformation is stunning. Saul, no doubt with blood stains still on his garment from Christians he had tortured, now stood with arms outstretched announcing, "I'm here to testify to you that Jesus is the Messiah, God's Son."
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  • Stepping Out

    | Mar 15, 2024
    Stepping out in faith always brings clarification of God's plan. When Ananias went to see Saul, he received additional information. As Saul submitted himself to the ministry of Ananias, he found out more about God's plan for his life.
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  • Surprising Elements

    | Mar 14, 2024
    Surprises are always part of God's leading. In Saul's case, the surprise came in the form of a light from heaven, marking a life-changing transformation. For Ananias, it was a seemingly unreasonable and illogical command.
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  • A New Beginning

    | Mar 13, 2024
    Regardless of what you have done, no one is beyond hope. That's the great hope of the Christian message. No amount or depth of sin in your past can trump the grace of God. If you question that, remember Saul, the brash Pharisee of Tarsus.
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  • A Chosen Instrument

    | Mar 12, 2024
    If you haven't yet done so, stand for a few moments in Ananias's sandals. Understand how difficult it would have been to see how God's plan could possibly work.
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  • God Wins

    | Mar 11, 2024
    God goaded and prodded the stubborn pride of Saul—that Pharisaic ox. Day after day he kicked against those goads, until finally he got the message. There would be no more running. No more hiding. The fight was over.
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  • God's Goads

    | Mar 10, 2024
    Apparently, "to kick against the goads" was a common expression found in both Greek and Latin literature—a rural image, which rose from the practice of farmers goading their oxen in the fields.
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  • A Quick Turnaround

    | Mar 09, 2024
    The essence of genuine repentance is that the mind does a turnaround. The Greek word is metanoia, meaning, literally, "to change one's mind." That's precisely what happened to the once-proud Pharisee on the road to Damascus.
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  • No Surprises

    | Mar 08, 2024
    For more than three decades, Saul controlled his own life. His record in Judaism ranked second to none. On his way to make an even greater name for himself, the laser of God's presence stopped him in his tracks, striking him blind.
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  • Roadside Conversion

    | Mar 07, 2024
    The ninth chapter of Acts begins abruptly. Saul's blood is boiling. He's on a murderous rampage toward Damascus. He charged north out of Jerusalem with the fury of Alexander the Great sweeping across Persia.
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  • An Unexpected Ally

    | Mar 06, 2024
    William Barclay calls Gamaliel an "unexpected ally." In the midst of flaring tempers and irrational thinking, this wise, seasoned teacher calmly rose to his feet and warned, "Take care here. Don't rush to judgment."
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Let Go and Let God

Having trouble seeing the logic behind what God is allowing in your life? Wishing it made more sense? In this Timeless Insight, Pastor Chuck helps us be at rest with mysteries.