Sunday was the last week of our MAKE US ONE Series. We started off the night with a new group game. Each tribe had to write a short song about their Tribe Leader to the tune of a children’s song like “Twinkle Twinkly Little Star”, “The Itsy Bitsy Spider”, etc. The students didn’t fail to provide good entertainment. You can check out the videos below:
The theme for the night was “The Truth Beneath the Surface”. Cindy O’farrel, one of our middle school leaders, gave the message last night and shared about Saul and Ananias. Acts 9:1-19NIV,
Meanwhile, Saul was still breathing out murderous threats against the Lord’s disciples. He went to the high priest 2 and asked him for letters to the synagogues in Damascus, so that if he found any there who belonged to the Way, whether men or women, he might take them as prisoners to Jerusalem. 3 As he neared Damascus on his journey, suddenly a light from heaven flashed around him. 4 He fell to the ground and heard a voice say to him, “Saul, Saul, why do you persecute me?”
5 “Who are you, Lord?” Saul asked.
“I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting,” he replied. 6 “Now get up and go into the city, and you will be told what you must do.”
7 The men traveling with Saul stood there speechless; they heard the sound but did not see anyone. 8 Saul got up from the ground, but when he opened his eyes he could see nothing. So they led him by the hand into Damascus. 9 For three days he was blind, and did not eat or drink anything.
10 In Damascus there was a disciple named Ananias. The Lord called to him in a vision, “Ananias!”
“Yes, Lord,” he answered.
11 The Lord told him, “Go to the house of Judas on Straight Street and ask for a man from Tarsus named Saul, for he is praying. 12 In a vision he has seen a man named Ananias come and place his hands on him to restore his sight.”
13 “Lord,” Ananias answered, “I have heard many reports about this man and all the harm he has done to your holy people in Jerusalem. 14 And he has come here with authority from the chief priests to arrest all who call on your name.”
15 But the Lord said to Ananias, “Go! This man is my chosen instrument to proclaim my name to the Gentiles and their kings and to the people of Israel. 16 I will show him how much he must suffer for my name.”
17 Then Ananias went to the house and entered it. Placing his hands on Saul, he said, “Brother Saul, the Lord—Jesus, who appeared to you on the road as you were coming here—has sent me so that you may see again and be filled with the Holy Spirit.” 18 Immediately, something like scales fell from Saul’s eyes, and he could see again. He got up and was baptized, 19 and after taking some food, he regained his strength.
Ananias initially looked at the surface and saw a man in Saul as a bully and enemy. God wasn’t concerned with the surface as much as what he was concerned with what was beneath the surface: Potential, passion, and someone who he loved he dearly. When we stop at the surface of someones life, we miss out
on being a part of the incredible plan that God has for their life! Saul, who we know better as Paul, went on to write aver half of the New Testament and is considered by many as the greatest apostle that ever lived. Everything that Saul/Paul accomplished in his ministry can be linked to Ananias taking the time to reach out to him.
Cindy taught us that it is important to TRUST God when he calls us to reach out and be united with those around us. We need to trust that God has a plan, will protect us, and guide us as we allow him to use us to “MAKE US ONE” with our fellow believers so that others see the love of Jesus in us so that they have the opportunity to know the love of Christ in their own lives.
Our MAKE US ONE Series taught us that “We become one as we move beyond our differences to get to the truth beneath the surface.” We are surrounded by people with incredible potential, and God may just want to use you and me to help them discover it.