Most of us are familiar with the conversion of Saul to Paul. Let’s look at Ananias’ Damascus “straight” road experience—a lesson about God’s unconditional love, and about God’s calling amid a boisterous detrimental situation in Acts 9:10-19.
The Lord appeared to Ananias in a vision. Ananias responded in like manner as Samuel did when the Lord calls him, and he responded, “Behold, I am here, Lord”. The Lord commanded Ananias to arise immediately and go into the street which is called Straight, and to look for a man of Tarsus named Saul. Furthermore, He said to Ananias that Saul is praying AND has seen Ananias in a vision coming and laying his hands on him, so he would regain his sight.
Ananias answered the Lord, saying, that he had heard people talking about how much evil and havoc Saul has done to the saints who professed the name of Christ in Jerusalem, and how he violently persecuted and slaughter the disciples of Christ. Furthermore, he said to the Lord, Saul had taken the lead, and had been given the authority by the chief priests to lock up the saints who call on His name. Nonetheless, the Lord said to Ananias, get up and go, do not delay or make excuses, there is no reason for you to be afraid. He goes on further to say, He chose Saul as an instrument to carry His name before the Gentiles, kings, and the children of Israel. So, without excuses, Ananias quietly yielded. He arose and went on his way to the place where Saul stayed.
Note that, contrary to how detrimental the situation was, Ananias responds to the Lord’s call, showed obedience and readiness to hearken to His voice, to do His will, and to obey His command. Something life-changing took place in Ananias’ heart from the moment God whispered His intended purpose and plan for Saul. From that moment, Ananias no longer perceives Saul as the chief persecutor of the saints, “the enemy”; but he now comprehends that he is “brother Saul.” Ananias called Saul “brother”, not because he was of the same nationality, but because he was now of the same faith—a regenerate person who now belongs to the household of faith. Ananias relied not on his own knowledge, not on his ordinary understanding, and not on his physical sight; but he relied upon what the Lord had spoken and shown him about Saul in the vision.
Ananias also had a Damascus “straight” road experience—a lesson about God’s unconditional love, and about God’s calling amid a boisterous detrimental situation. Because of his obedience, he got to witness, firsthand, the Lord’s power to set free, the healing and deliverance of Saul, and to grow in intimacy with the Lord by receiving a vision, and by hearing and obeying the Lord’s voice. God used him to impart to Saul, by the laying on of hands, healing by restoring his sight, the gifts of the Holy Spirit, water baptism, food, and natural strength. “But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus.” – Philippians 4:19.
So, Ananias departed and entered the house. And laying his hands on him, he said, “Brother Saul, the Lord Jesus who appeared to you on the road by which you came has sent me so that you may regain your sight AND be filled with the Holy Spirit.” “And immediately something like scales fell from his eyes, and he regained his sight. Then he rose and was baptized; and taking food, he was strengthened.”
Being quickened by the Lord’s grace, Saul cries out unto Him. He prayed as a regenerate man who yearned after communion with Christ. Here is a man who had never prayed before, now praying by the unction of the Holy Spirit, and with understanding, such as he had not previously desired. Consequently, just as it had been the third day Jesus had risen from the dead, it was on the third day Saul was regenerated and received spiritual and natural sight from the Lord. He received his sight, by the laying on of hands, which he had been without for three days. Furthermore, he was filled with the Holy Ghost, and he could now with the extraordinary gifts of the Spirit, speaking with divers tongues, healing all manner of diseases, preach with boldness and with power, etc.
Whose life has the Lord called you to impact?  Like Ananias, will you answer the call?
Read Acts 9:10-19



Abraham went out from the land of the Chaldeans and lived in Haran. A land which God told him to “Lech Lecha!” which is Hebrew for, “Go, go out!” And after Abraham’s father died, God removed him from that land into a new land. Yet, God gave him no inheritance in it–not so much as a foothold. He promised to give Abraham and his offspring after him the land as a possession, but at the time Abraham had no children. (Read the whole story Genesis 12:1-9 below:
12 Now the Lord said to Abram, “Go from your country and your kindred and your father’s house to the land that I will show you. 2 And I will make of you a great nation, and I will bless you and make your name great, so that you will be a blessing. 3 I will bless those who bless you, and him who dishonors you I will curse, and in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.”
4 So Abram went, as the Lord had told him, and Lot went with him. Abram was seventy-five years old when he departed from Haran. 5 And Abram took Sarai his wife, and Lot his brother’s son, and all their possessions that they had gathered, and the people that they had acquired in Haran, and they set out to go to the land of Canaan. When they came to the land of Canaan, 6 Abram passed through the land to the place at Shechem, to the oak of Moreh. At that time the Canaanites were in the land. 7 Then the Lord appeared to Abram and said, “To your offspring I will give this land.” So he built there an altar to the Lord, who had appeared to him. 8 From there he moved to the hill country on the east of Bethel and pitched his tent, with Bethel on the west and Ai on the east. And there he built an altar to the Lord and called upon the name of the Lord. 9 And Abram journeyed on, still going toward the Negeb. (Compare Acts 7:1-7)
Are you discouraged because you have not seen what God promised you? You have been obedient to what He has instructed you to do, but nothing tangible has manifested.
Be encouraged by God’s Word, which says, “He who promised is faithful.” (Hebrews 10:23). “He who calls you is faithful; he will surely do it.” (1 Thessalonians 5:24)
Do not shrink back on what God had promised you, instead, remain faithful and trust God! The just shall [not might] live by faith!
HE who has promised you is faithful to bring it to pass.
An abundance of Blessings!



Luke 10:38-42 – 38 Now as they went on their way, Jesus entered a village. And a woman named Martha welcomed him into her house. 39 And she had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord’s feet and listened to his teaching. 40 But Martha was distracted with much serving. And she went up to him and said, “Lord, do you not care that my sister has left me to serve alone? Tell her then to help me.” 41 But the Lord answered her, “Martha, Martha, you are anxious and troubled about many things, 42 but one thing is necessary. Mary has chosen the good portion, which will not be taken away from her.”

You may have read the Biblical scenario of the death of Lazarus.

The scene: Jesus and His company of men arrive at Martha, Mary, and Lazarus’ home in Bethany. In Luke 10:38, a woman named Martha is mentioned as the owner of this home. She panicked and became cumbersome with hosting the men. Imagine those present in the room hearing the sighs of Martha, and the clanging of the pots and dishes as she grew angrier by the moment. Not Mary: she was relaxed and sat at Jesus’ feet. She did not bother with Martha’s clamoring.  She was only interested in the gracious words spoken by Jesus. Mary had eyes only for the One who had forgiven her, who loved her, and whom she loved. In Martha’s eyes, she may have felt that working in the kitchen was the “better thing”.

I do believe the text is not suggesting that Martha was wrong in serving; instead, her attitude and disposition in which she was serving was clearly wrong.  Martha’s anger at Mary’s lackadaisical stance may have been a cultural one. In that day and time in Eastern culture, the men would sit and talk (in this case theology) while the women took care of the domestic chores. Perhaps, for Mary to have been sitting “idle,” and not helping in the kitchen was unusual. It also did not help Martha’s attitude that Jesus or the other men did not tell Mary to help her. This would further explain her outburst of anger toward Jesus.

Martha’s external behavior at first appeared to be that of a servant’s heart. However, the moment she stopped listening to Christ and made something other than Him the focus of her attention, her perspective became very self-centered. At that point, even her service to Christ became tainted with self-absorption and an attitude of sinful pride.  This made her susceptible to other kinds of evil, such as anger, resentment, jealousy, a critical spirit, being judgmental, and meanness.  All of which flared up in a matter of minutes.

Mary, in contrast, chose the genuine “better thing,” which mattered the most, and would not be taken away from her.  She was so consumed with thoughts of Christ that she became completely oblivious to everything else.  She sat at His feet and listened to Him intently, absorbing His every word.  Mary had a calm, kind, loving, and caring spirit. She was by no means lazy.  She simply understood and valued the precious moment to sit at Jesus’ feet. The Son, God Himself was a guest in her home!  What an awesome opportunity.

What would you do if Jesus came to your home?  Would you be busy trying to serve Him a meal or would you immediately sit at His feet? Serving would seem the ideal thing to do. If I were in Martha’s sandals, I would likely be guilty of being “busy,” and trying to impress Jesus by serving. To the contrary, like Mary, we should make the very best of that moment by listening and worshiping in Jesus’ presence. It’s the one right place and precise moment for us to focus our attention.  We must be discerning and seize the moment. In other words, “carpe diem” or “pluck the day [as it is ripe]”—that is, enjoy the moment. I love the interpretation of Isaiah 55:8-9 in the Message Bible. It construes, “The way you work isn’t the way I work.” God’s Decree. For as the sky soars high above earth, so the way I work surpasses the way you work, and the way I think is beyond the way you think.

Are you busy with “stuff,” the cares of this world’s system, and ways of doing things? Are you self-absorbed, stressed out, or burnt out?  Picture a busy fish market, the busy customers, the anxious sale merchants, the hobnobbing, the gossiping, and the gesturing of the day. In this setting, there is only unrest and stress.

This week forget about the cares of this world, all the negativity and “stuff” that is draining you, worries, heavy burdens, bills, and especially all the daunting undone tasks that are before you. Like Mary, choose the “better thing” to sit at Jesus’ feet.  Together, let us go deeper, wider, yet still in His God’s presence.

Under His Wings,

Minister Gail Faulkner