But Barnabas took him and brought him to the apostles. He told them how Saul on his journey had seen the Lord and that the Lord had spoken to him, and how in Damascus he had preached fearlessly in the name of Jesus. So Saul stayed with them and moved about freely in Jerusalem, speaking boldly in the name of the Lord. Acts 9: 27-28 (NIV)
Passage: Acts 9:19-31
Sometimes our reputation goes before us, setting the stage for how people view us or behave toward us. What we say, our opinions or attitudes, our actions, or the positions we take can lead others to draw some conclusions about who we are as people. Because real personal change is difficult, it can be hard to change someone’s opinion of us once it has been formed. We may find, at some point, we need someone to stand up for us. Jesus does that; He intercedes for us, with the Father, every day. May we be grateful for what Jesus does on our behalf. May we be able to enjoy a time of peace and be strengthened just as Saul (later named Paul) was. May we also be encouraged by the Holy Spirit as we seek to grow the kingdom for the glory of God. Amen.