Day 232 - FOUNDATION STONES IN A YEAR
Extra reading: Acts 8: 14 - 20, Acts 19: 1 - 6, Joel 2: 28, 29
Today’s passage was a bit on the long side but quite exciting, right? Imagine God sent you to go to someone who was famous for murdering your people! Oh, sure, everyone loves Paul and his letters now, but at the time that this happened Paul (then called Saul) was the poster-boy for ridding the world of Jesus followers; Ananias was probably one of the bravest men in the New Testament.
What makes this story seven more amazing is that we see Ananias laying hands on Paul and not only is blessing imparted as Paul receives the Holy Spirit, but he is also healed. In our last devotions we have looked extensively at the laying on of hands for blessing, but from today onward we’re going to look at the second reason for the laying on of hands, namely healing.
And who was Ananias? The answer is that we don’t really know. This is the only time he is mentioned in the bible and all that the writer tells us is that he is a disciple. Ananias is just a normal guy who follows Jesus. Not an apostle or a prophet. Not someone who wrote scripture. Just a follower of Jesus like me and you. Sure, Paul was a great and impactful apostle, but where would he be without the obedience of Ananias? He’d probably have died as a blind guy who once used to be passionate about killing Christians instead of someone who ended up writing half the New Testament!
In the same way you and I have the opportunity to have massive impact through our obedience in practising the laying on of hands. It may be very risky and scary. It may require great boldness and courage. But when God says go don’t you say no. Is God asking you to go and impart blessing and ugh the laying on of hands?
Dear Heavenly Father, today I thank you for people like Ananias who was instrumental in blessing many by being obedient to you and laying hands on Paul. I ask that You would help me to also be obedient to you and go where you send me to glorify your name.
Would you like to do this devotion with the family?
- Start by reading today’s passage. Since this is a slightly longer reading maybe try to read this with the kids: you as the narrator and the kids as the voices of Ananias and God.
- Do you know your neighbours? Ananias was sent to a house in his own town, possibly to the house of someone he knew. Consider how you can introduce your family to your neighbours and/or build that relationship. Maybe you can bake them something
- Prepare a pass the parcel game. After each child has had a chance to unwrap the parcel and receive a gift (something small like a snack is fine) explain to them that they can be the person who helps another person receive the Holy Spirit just like that have received.
- Finish by praying together and lead younger children. If the prayer above is too complex for children use the one below:
Thank you, Heavenly Father, for your blessing of the Holy Spirit in my life. I ask you for the opportunity to lay my hands on someone else and pray for them so that they may also receive this gift.