This morning in my quiet time I asked the Lord to open my eyes and give me understanding of what I was about to read in His word. And like countless other times He heard my prayer and answered. He took familiar verses and opened my eyes to the life applications that lay within them. God loves it when we ask Him to give us understanding, He loves it because that is His will for everyone of His children, and because when we ask it humbles us before Him as we acknowledge our need for Him!
The life application that began with our title verse of Acts 9:11 came forth and this is what the Lord showed me.
When the Lord says; Get Up and Go, don't concern yourself with a persons reputation, for that is between them and God.
The Lord gave His servant Ananias a vital clue about Saul when He told him to go to Saul, the Lord said; he is praying!
Second life application; When God says go, He has already prepared the heart of the one you are sent to.
Third; God always knows what He is doing, we cannot see His work in another's heart, never count somebody out because of their life style, no matter how diabolical it is.
There is an interesting peek into Jesus heart toward sinners found in Matthew 9:10-13. Jesus is dining in a home and many tax collectors and sinners were dining with Him and the religious leaders, the Pharisees, questioned Jesus disciples as to why Jesus was associating with sinners. Jesus responded; "It is not those who are healthy who need a physician, but those who are sick. For I did not come to call the righteous, but sinners."
Matthew 5:6 says; "Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied." The Pharisees were self-righteous, that is why they did not recognize Jesus for who He was even though they knew the Scriptures that spoke of Jesus coming. Jesus comes to those who know they are sinners, they know they can't make themselves righteous, they were drawn to Jesus, they experienced His love and forgiveness of sins!
There is a wonderful life application from the above scriptures in Matthew; we are called to fellowship with the body of Christ, other believers, but we are also called and commanded to be witnesses for Christ! If we never associate with anyone except fellow believers how is that following Christ's example?
Back to Acts, if our attitude toward sinners is judgmental, we will never Get up and Go at the Lord's command. Ananias knew Saul's reputation and it was awful, but he was obedient to God to go and sinner Saul, zealous persecutor of believers was transformed into Paul the Apostle who boldly brought the Good News of Jesus Christ to the Gentiles! Oh and by the way wrote 13 books or letters in the New Testament.
Life application; God alone knows a heart and what He can do in and through the most reprobate of sinners, my responsibility is to; Get Up and Go!