Acts 22:8 – And I answered, Who art thou, Lord? And he said unto me, I am Jesus of Nazareth, whom thou persecutest.
Every time I read this passage, my heart rejoices. Paul (Saul) was a major source of persecution to the church, and each time he stepped out to do so, it was the individual people in the church who personally suffered at his hands. And though it was individuals who suffered, and the church at large that was persecuted, look at the words of Jesus in our Text for Today. Jesus said of that persecution, “I am Jesus of Nazareth, Whom thou persecutest.” There it is, once again clearly stated. Jesus took the persecution of the church, and its individual members, as a personal affront against Himself. I cannot speak for everyone, but I can tell you for myself, that is a wonderfully comforting thought.
Now add to the line of thinking the following truth. Jesus is the same, yesterday, today, and forever. He never changes. If Jesus considered any attack on His church and the individual members of His church as a personal attack on Himself in the early days of the church, then He still considers any attack on His church and the individual members of His church a personal attack on Himself today. Think on that for a moment.
That is an absolute Biblical truth that we need to embrace fully today. Sadly, we do not. We view the personal status as just being about us, and so often fail to recognize that the real attackers are not those through whom the attacks come. When we can realize and embrace that great truth that “we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against” spiritual forces, and apply the attitude of taking attacks on us personally from that perspective, I am convinced we will see greater victories in our lives, families, and churches. The reason is that when we take all attacks on us personally, realizing the true source of the attacks, then we can apply the weapons of our warfare in their full force, not violating the love walk towards anyone, and thereby have the full force and weight of heaven behind us. And when we have the full weight and force of heaven behind us, we can stand invincible, as overcomers, living life as more than conquerors through Jesus. And the world will see it, recognize it as a true testimony in life, and our witness for Christ will be so much more effective. Jesus’s love for you is personal. His defense of you is personal. Believe it. Accept it. Walk in it. Enjoy its blessings.
Manna for Today – Acts 22:1-21; John 1:1; John 10:30; John 17:22; Romans 12:5; 1 Corinthians 10:17; 1 Corinthians 12:2; Malachi 3:6; Hebrews 13:8; Ephesians 6:10-18; 2 Corinthians 10:3-6