Regrets?  Waking up to Yesterday 

July 8, 2020


Regrets? Waking up to Yesterday
By Pastor Bob

Do you have regrets? Have you done stupid things in the past that you just WISH you could undo, like climb into a time machine and go back and change it? I think just about everyone has wished for this. I mean to go back and undo what you did, unsay what you said, I mean FIX whatever dumb thing you did!

Well we all know there's no such thing as a time machine. So what do we do? How can we fix it, or can we? Well, there's someone in the Bible that I'm sure would change his past if he could. Let's look and find out what happened to him.

He was born in southern Turkey to a wealthy family and later became a tent maker. He studied under a very learned teacher of the time and was considered one of the leading scholars of his sect. He was very zealous in his beliefs and had the ear of the church leaders. At the time there was a teaching going around that was contrary to the main church's teaching . The people believed in a man who they claimed to be the Messiah, or the deliverer of the people of Israel. He had healed people, performed miracles, and even raised people from the dead. Because this man claimed that he was God's son, they claimed he was a heretic and needed to die. He was thus executed on a cross, or crucified, and buried. But three days later He rose from the dead and was seen by about 500 people. The church leaders denied this however, but because of the furor that arose, they decided that something had to be done. They started rounding up the believers in this Messiah and imprisoned them and even had some executed. The followers of this "Messiah" therefore had to escape with their lives and moved out of the region to other cities and villages. How to bring these people back was a problem though; someone had to go after them. And they believed they had the very man. This man was so zealous of the beliefs of the church that he even participated in the execution of a "convert." He volunteered to go after these heretics and got letters of permission to go and bring them back.
This man's name was Saul.

Saul started on a journey to Damascus where it was known that there were followers of "The Way" or this Messiah. On his way however, there came a great light that was so bright that it knocked him down. And he heard a voice calling to him asking, "Saul, why are you persecuting Me?" Saul asked who was speaking and was answered, "I am Jesus the Nazarene whom you are persecuting."

Can you imagine what Saul felt? Can you imagine HOW he felt? Because the light was so bright he was blinded and the men he was with had to guide him to Damascus where they left him with a man named Judas. For three days he sat there and neither ate or drank. What was going through his head? What was he thinking about? He was capturing followers of this same Jesus and imprisoning them. There were some who even died. And he was responsible! I wonder what he thought for those three days. Did he think that God was mad at him? Did he wonder if God was going to send him to Hell? Everything he thought was true about his beliefs was wrong! This "Jesus" was real! Did he have regrets? Oh I believe so!

After sitting there for three days, he decided to pray to this "God" whom he had offended, perhaps beyond redemption. While praying, he saw in a vision that a man called Ananias would come and lay hands on him and he would regain his sight and be filled with the Holy Spirit. At the same time, the Lord came to a man named Ananias in a vision and told him to go to a house where a man named Judas lived and pray for Saul. Ananias protested at first because he knew all about Saul and how he used to persecute the people of the Way, but the Lord told him to go anyway and he did as the Lord told him. After Ananias prayed for Saul, scales fell off his eyes and he was filled with the Holy Spirit.

We know what Saul (also called Paul) accomplished after this. He was arguably the greatest missionary the world has ever seen. He started several churches, made many missionary journeys, and second to Luke wrote most of what we now call the New Testament. After preaching in Rome he was executed, probably by beheading.
You see, even after all of Saul's goings on, God changed his life. God forgave him and used him greatly. Paul loved Jesus so much that he endured beatings with rods and the lash, stonings and shipwrecks, and was in constant danger from robbers. He endured everything for the sake of the Gospel.

As we can see, even with regrets in our lives, God offers forgiveness for the sins and wrongs we have committed and causes them to work together for good to those who love Him.

Have you got regrets? Come to the One who forgives and forgets. Don't live with them, give them to Him. If you already know Him and still live with "stuff", go to Him and let Him take care of it. He certainly will! You know why? Because He loves you and wants the best for you, and that's why we serve Him.

Just some thoughts
Pastor Bob