Scripture

When Saul arrived in Jerusalem, he made attempts to join up with the disciples—but they were all afraid of him, not believing that he was a disciple - Acts 9:26

Heart Thoughts

Don’t let the past shepherd your heart, let the present work of the Messiah guide you in the present. There is no doubt the guys in Jerusalem had real reason to have concern about Saul. Saul said of himself in

Acts 22:4–5 - I persecuted this Way to the death, arresting both men and women and throwing them in prisons— as the kohen gadol and all the council of elders can testify about me. I also received letters from them to the brothers, and I went to Damascus to bring back to Jerusalem even those who were there in chains—to be punished.

The believers in Jerusalem had a hard time believing he too was a disciple. They probably believed he was faking the whole thing to get the upper-hand and then at the right moment he would strike. They were shepherding in what they knew of his past but Saul, aka Paul, would have to prevail because of the work the Messiah had just done within inside of him. Unfortunately, this story reminds us that even the best among can fail to have faith that the worst among us can be born-again, can change from the inside out.

There will be times when the people who knew who you once were will not quickly accept who God has made you now to be. Don’t let them shepherd in the old you. You must continually confess and demonstrate that you are a new creation in the Messiah Yeshua. When I was born-again just before my 21st birthday, my family and especially my friends could only see the old me until I stood positively on the new me. It was not until they saw the new creation me, the born-again me in action and in various situations that they knew I was not the same person anymore.

Here is the point. I would not let other people, even the best of my family and friends, shepherd in my past. I confessed that used to be me but that is not me any longer. I would declare that I am a new creation, I am not a slave to addiction, this was not a passing fad but an eternal transformation, that I was no longer a victim but a victor for the Messiah. Over time, just like with Saul, those closest to me embraced the new creation God made me to be and stopped shepherding in the old memories, old failures, old sinful ways; but rather, began to celebrate God’s work inside of me.

Bracha

May the Lord God of Israel give you faith, hope and love as you encounter people who try to shepherd in the old you. May God strengthen your resolve to live out of your new born-again spirit, may He open wide the eyes of your heart to see just how much He believes in you and wants you succeed and to win.

For the Feed

There will be times when the people who knew who you once were will not quickly accept who God has made you now to be. Don’t let them shepherd in the old you. You must continually confess and demonstrate that you are a new creation in the Messiah Yeshua. When I was born-again just before my 21st birthday, my family and especially my friends could only see the old me until I stood positively on the new me. It was not until they saw the new creation me, the born-again me in action and in various situations that they knew I was not the same person anymore.