Seeing Is Believing (Acts 9:26-29)

But Barnabas took him, and brought him to the apostles, and declared unto them how he had seen the Lord in the way, and that he had spoken to him, and how he had preached boldly at Damascus in the name of Jesus. And he was with them coming in and going out at Jerusalem. And he spake boldly in the name of the Lord Jesus, and disputed against the Grecians” (Acts 9:27–29, AV)

Many years ago, as a young engineer working in research and development for a paper and printing company, I had an assignment in Southern California. I was there for two weeks in order to solve a problem with a printing press that was producing an excessive amount of defective product. When the crew spliced in a new roll of paper-board, the colors would misalign and not realign until 300-400 printed boxes later. At every roll change, they produced 300-400 defective boxes at a cost of about $1.00 each.

To analyzed the problem, I attached a chart recorder on the controller that was to keep the colors lined up. This visually displayed the color misalignment as the machine ran. The patterns on the chart recorder indicated that the controller was over correcting, indicating there was too much gain. I called the controller manufacturer for the instructions on how to adjust the gain on the circuit boards.

After a couple days I had adjusted all seven boards to their optimum settings. The result was that now the number of defective printed cartons at a splice was between two and four. I reported to the plant manager and we went out to lunch. However, when we returned from lunch, the shift foreman told us that the machine was not fixed, that it was just as bad as ever. Of course, I was shocked.

So, we all went over to the machine and I reconnected the chart recorder to see what was happening. Sure enough, it was even worse than before. I rechecked the gain adjustment settings on the circuit boards. Someone had gone in after I set them and turned them all to maximum, meaning that the gain was way excessive. I told the managers what I discovered.

While all the managers watching the chart recorder, I reset the seven control boards to the optimum setting (I had recorded them), and before their eyes everything settled down. The Plant Manager then exclaimed, “If I had not seen it with my own eyes, I would have never believed it.”

In this passage, Saul who formerly had been a fierce persecutor of the church and then converted on the road to Damascus, returned to Jerusalem trying to join the disciples there. However, the disciples remembered him as a fierce persecutor of the church. They could not believe that Saul was a disciple. So, a man named Barnabas, took Saul to the apostles and explained Saul’s conversion and described the mighty things that he, Saul, had done in the name of Jesus in Damascus. It was Saul’s actions that testified to the validity of his conversion and granted him participation in the fellowship of the believers in Jerusalem.

The point here is that our walk must match our talk. It is the characteristic conduct of our lives that testify as to the validity of our faith. The question is this. What do people see in our life? Is it the that we are walking in the light of fellowship with God or do the deeds of darkness characterize our lives? It is worthwhile to examine ourselves and ascertain the answer to this question personally. When people who knew you before your conversion see you now, would they say, “If I had not seen your life with my own eyes, I would never have believed it?”

Published by Steve Hankins, Th.D.

Steve has had extensive military, business and ministry experience. He has served for over 16 years in full time vocational ministry and many years of part time ministry in churches. He has led churches through start-up and recasting of vision. Now He resides on the Outer Banks of North Carolina where he is working to help smaller churches and believers to renew their hearts and regain the joy of the Lord.

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