Pray: To open your time together.
Read: Acts 9: 1-19
Consider: Some thoughts for your group
There is an interesting dynamic that happens with the topic of grace. When we consider the grace extended to ourselves, we often have feelings of gratitude and hope. We recognize our need for grace and receive it willingly. However, when we consider the grace given to others, particularly those we would consider our enemies, there are strong feelings of injustice and anger. How can grace be given to THEM? Perhaps THEY haven’t even repented or taken ownership of their wrongs! In the story of Saul, we are reminded of God’s pursuing, extravagant, and yes, scandalous grace.
On Sunday, Pastor Bo said, “Paul does NOT approach Jesus with his hat in his hand, asking for grace or life change. Instead, Jesus interrupts his life quite literally. He knocks him to the ground, blinds him with a light and says, “Hey – here’s grace. You want in?” It was grace that reached to Saul and saved him from a life he would regret.
The life of Paul shows us a living color demonstration of the scandalous grace of Jesus. Philip Yancey wrote, “Knocked flat on the ground on the way to Damascus, Paul never recovered from the impact of grace: the word appears no later than the second sentence in any of his letters.”
When you hear the story of Saul’s life before his encounter with Jesus, what would you have believed about his ability to be saved? Would you have considered him too far gone for God’s grace? Who else do you consider in that category?
Who are you praying will have an encounter with God and receive His grace? What family members, co-workers, politicians, or even those who you might consider enemies.
How have you experienced God’s grace in your life? God’s love for you is as real and powerful as it was for Saul on the road to Damascus. Have you received God’s grace?
Why do we treat grace differently for others than for ourselves?
Spend some time praying for one another. For those who have never received God’s grace, pray that they would encounter the transformational and unconditional love of Jesus right now. For those who have walked with Jesus for some time, pray for the reminder of His grace for us today.