Archive for the ‘Conversion of St. Paul the Apostle’ Tag

The Heavenly Vision   2 comments

Michelangelo_Merisi_da_Caravaggio_-_The_Conversion_of_St._Paul_-_WGA04135

Above:  The Conversion of Saint Paul, by Caravaggio

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Acts 26, 19

1.  Paul’s vision revealed to him

(a)  God’s holiness,

(b)  his own sinfulness in His light, and

(c)  God’s demand for obedience as the course of righteousness.

2.  His works imply the possibility of disobedience.  He could have resisted, but he obeyed willingly.  Yet he was “chosen” (ch. 9, 15) and was “constrained” (2 Cor. 5, 14).  Men are not obliged to obey.  “Ye do always resist.”  Hence ours the greater sin, because [we are] responsible for our own fate.

Yet none dare disobey, at the peril of his soul.

3.  His commands are not grievous; He enjoins only what is actually good for us.  He seeks to do us great good and that only.  His commands are Signboards to and along the only road to life eternal.  Will you obey?

4.  When we yield to Him as did Paul, light, joy and life quicken and thrill the soul.  The whole man is revolutionized.  Man becoming a new creature, Saul now becomes Paul.  Will you not obey and live?

GEORGE WASHINGTON BARRETT

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The Folly of Resisting God   1 comment

Michelangelo_Merisi_da_Caravaggio_-_The_Conversion_of_St._Paul_-_WGA04135

Above:  The Conversion of St. Paul, by Caravaggio

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Acts 26, 14

1.  Paul resisted the promptings, misgivings and warnings and grace.

(a)  Gamaliel’s counsel (ch. 5, 34-39)

(b)  Angel face of Stephen (ch. 6, 15), his dying prayer.  Paul tried to crush them out of his heart.

2.  We have warnings.  Many times better impulses & a pause of insecurity are experienced.  The Spirit tells us to repent.  Many tremble under it.  But like Paul, many resist it all and crush out these impressions.

3.  But that is to fight against God.  It is hard, useless to resist Him.  Such as one’s fate is inevitable.  Judgement will overtake him.  The outlaw is sure to fall after a while at most.  None have a plausible reason to rebel.  Why should the ox kick the goads?  Why resist one’s only hope?  Did it pay the Jews or Nineveh?

4.  Paul surrendered at once.  Seeing his error he at once abandoned it; tried not to excuse his way.  It is hazardous, foolhardy, to go against one’s knowledge of right.  Confess your sin and seek his mercy now!

GEORGE WASHINGTON BARRETT

“Lord, What Wilt Thou Have Me to Do?” (Acts 9-6)   3 comments

Above:  The Conversion of Saint Paul, by Caravaggio

A poem based on Acts 9:6:

And he [Saul of Tarsus] trembling and astonished said, “Lord, what wilt thou have me to do”  And the Lord said unto him, “Arise, and go into the city, and it shall be told thee what thou must do.”  (Authorized Version)

KRT

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Why thus has been my mission masked?

God’s purpose in me hid from view;

Have I ne’er with his servant asked,

Lord, what wilt thou have me to do?

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That I may honor Lord, Thy name,

And sin in all its forms eschew–

Man’s only purpose, highest aim–

Lord, what wilt thou have me to do?

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That my life be one that shall prove

A life right and virtue true,

And end at last in one above,

Lord, what wilt thou have me to do?

JOHN DODSON TAYLOR, SR.