Daily posts to help you connect with God
and keep yourself travelling in the right orbit
ORBIT | WEEK FOUR
ORBIT – DAY EIGHTEEN
Hello and welcome to another Orbit – the daily devotional from the youth team at St Mary’s Reigate. Each day we give you a short passage of the Bible to reflect on, a way of putting it into practice in your life, and a chance to pray and reflect.
BIBLE READING: Acts 22: 6-15 – (edited for length)
Today’s reading finds Paul in Jerusalem, immediately facing the opposition that he knew he’d run into there. Saved from a baying mob by the roman soldiers, he’s bound in chains but given a chance to address the crowd – here’s what he says:
“About noon as I came near Damascus, suddenly a bright light from heaven flashed around me. I fell to the ground and heard a voice say to me, ‘Saul! Saul! Why do you persecute me?’
“‘Who are you, Lord?’ I asked.
“ ‘I am Jesus of Nazareth, whom you are persecuting,’ he replied.
“‘What shall I do, Lord?’ I asked.
“ ‘Get up,’ the Lord said, ‘and go into Damascus. There you will be told all that you have been assigned to do.’ My companions led me by the hand into Damascus, because the brilliance of the light had blinded me.
“A man named Ananias came to see me. He stood beside me and said, ‘Brother Saul, receive your sight!’ And at that very moment I was able to see him.
“Then he said: ‘The God of our ancestors has chosen you to know his will and to see the Righteous One and to hear words from his mouth. You will be his witness to all people of what you have seen and heard.”
If someone asked you to tell them the story of your Christian faith, how would you respond?
Would you have a clear answer – a story to immediately tell, about how you encountered God for the first time, and the difference he began to make in your life? Or would it all feel a bit foggier than that?
Our story is important – for a couple of reasons. First, because it’s the precious memory of how the creator of the universe himself spoke into our lives, and how we began a relationship with God himself. But second, because telling that story to others could be the very thing that persuades them to explore a relationship with him too.
In today’s passage, Paul chooses a moment when he’s in front of a huge crowd – most of whom didn’t feel very positively about him – to tell his own incredible story of meeting Jesus for the first time. It’s a familiar tale: literally it’s the road-to-Damascus conversion moment where a blinding light from heaven convinces Paul to turn his life around; to go from persecuting Christians to becoming their chief evangelist. Now, it’s worth being honest – in this particular incident, Paul’s story only makes the crowd even more mad! But in many other cases in the New Testament, people are moved to find God for themselves through testimonies such as these.
Of course, none of us have quite as dramatic a story to tell as Paul. Jesus doesn’t generally go around blinding people to force them to have faith in him. But our stories still have power, because they’re divine stories – about God breaking into the world and rescuing normal everyday human beings like us. Be proud of your story, and be prepared to share it. You never know the impact it might have on someone.
You might want to join me in praying this prayer.
Lord God, thank you for the incredible story of love and redemption that you have been weaving together since the beginning of time, and thank you for the incredible privilege of being included in that story. I thank you that you’re interested in my story too – that it matters to you – and that it has power to tell others about your goodness and love. Help me to know and share my story for your glory’s sake. Amen.
There’s now a chance for you to pray, or listen to God, or simply be still for a few moments.
Each day we will provide you with a simple challenge; something to do which helps you put this little thought into action.
Today offers you a chance for a bit of reflection – this is a mental exercise. Find somewhere comfortable, and spend some time remembering and thinking about the story of your Christian faith. What has the journey been so far? How did it start? What have been the moments where God felt very close by? When did he seem far away? What has your faith looked like recently? God wants us to understand that our story connects with his great overall story – so take time today to reflect on both. You might even find a natural opportunity later to talk to someone about this.
If you want to get in touch, you can always email firstname.lastname@example.org, or message us on Instagram – we’re @stmarys_satellites. Let us know what you think of this daily reflection – please – we’d love your feedback.
We’ll be back with another edition of Orbit tomorrow. Thanks for taking part today!