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CHOSEN AND FILLED

Monday, 5 February, 2018

Acts 9 : 1-22

“…. he is a chosen of vessel of Mine to bear My name before Gentiles, kings and the children of Israel.” -Acts 9:15

God in His providence chooses His servants from various walks of life to represent Him! At the dawn of the New Testament Church, in order to accelerate the spread of gospel and to ensure that the message of God’s salvation reaches to the utter most part of the earth, God implements His strategy! In Luke 1:30, Simeon praises God: “For my eyes have seen Your salvation, which you have prepared in the presence of all peoples, a light of revelation to the Gentiles, and the glory of Your people Israel.”  It has been God’s plan that ALL people would know about the salvation that He has prepared for them! As Jesus Himself stated in John 3:17: “For God did not send the Son into the world to judge the world, but that the world might be saved through Him.” Further 1Timothy 2:4 states that God desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.

However, when the Church was established on earth on the day of Pentecost (Acts 2:1-13), it was among the Jewish community. Soon the message of the cross had to be taken to the outside world! God found the best candidate for that task in Paul, who was zealously persecuting the Christian believers who came from Jewish faith! In Paul’s own account of his transformation, in Acts 22:21 God revealed to him that “I will send you far away to the Gentiles.”  Paul again recounts God’s plan revealed to him in Acts 26:16&17, to be “a minister and a witness” of the Gospel!!

Let us look at the manner in which Paul is inducted into the ministry! Paul was on his way to Damascus to drag those who were Christians and suddenly the Lord Jesus appeared to him and Paul immediately got changed!! As mentioned in Ezekiel 11:19, God would have given a new heart to Paul – a heart of flesh instead of a heart of stone!!

God speaks to Ananias (whom God assigned to pray over Paul), that Paul is a chosen vessel. In the subsequent verses we can see that Ananias prayed over Paul to be healed and be filled with the Holy Spirit. That is the purpose of a vessel – to be filled!!  In John 15:16, Jesus says that each of us who put their trust in Him as Lord has been chosen by Him for a purpose – to go and bear fruit. We have to bear fruit for which the essential requirement is to be filled with the Holy Spirit. It is commanded in Eph.5:18 “to be filled with the Spirit.” We are like clay in God’s hand— when the Master Craftsman shapes this clay into a useful vessel, He will fill it with the Spirit. 1 Corinthians 6:19 states that we are a temple of the Holy Spirit. When Jesus began His ministry, in Luke 4:1 it is written that Jesus was full of the Holy Spirit; Vs.14 states Jesus returned to Galilee in the power of the Holy Spirit.

Dear brother / sister – each of us who are called by Jesus is commanded to be filled with the Holy Spirit (Eph.5:18). The significance of this is understood when we look at the very first act that Jesus did after His ascension to heaven-Acts 2 :33: “Therefore having been exalted to the right hand of God, and having received from the Father the promise of the Holy Spirit, He has poured forth this which you both see and hear.”

You are God’s chosen vessel to represent Him before this world and to carry His Gospel to the world – will you be filled with the Holy Spirit?

Thought- “But you are a chosen people………that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light.”(1 Peter 2:9)
 

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