What does it mean – to carry a name?  Well, those who have worked for companies and have gone out as ‘their representative’ know how they have carried ‘the name’ of their Company in visiting its customers – but these days, with the internet, this is rarely practiced. This reflection arose from our readings today of Acts ch. 9 with its’ account of the divinely initiated dramatic conversion of Saul (soon to be called Paul).

As Saul neared Damascus intending to bring any believers in Christ he found there “bound to Jerusalem.“  [v.2] “suddenly a light from heaven shone around him.” [v.3] he hears a voice, “Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting me?”[v.4] and is told, “I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting.” [v.5] and to go into the city and it will be told him what he is to do.

He is led blind into Damascus” and for three days he was without sight, and neither ate nor drank.”[v.9] – a sort of counterpart to Jesus being 3 days in the tomb. The Lord instructs Ananias, a disciple in Damascus, to go to Saul and tells him where to find him and “lay hands on him.” [v.12] Ananias is very concerned about this instruction, “But the Lord said to him, “Go, for he is a chosen instrument of mine to carry my name before the Gentiles” [v.15]

And so Saul, soon to be known as Paul, spearheads the carrying of Christ’s name, God’s message of salvation through His Son.  In doing this he sets the example to others like Silas, Titus and Timothy to do the same.  These are among the examples that have come down to us today! Let us see ourselves as “chosen … to carry Christ’s name” wherever an opportunity is available – until he come!  And how soon now to that time?!

By Bro D.Caudery

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