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You are not a black sheep
Pastor Mike Novotny
by Pastor Mike Novotny
April 24, 2024

When Ananias reached out his hands toward the serial killer, I wonder if they were trembling. God had spoken directly to Ananias, sending him to the house where Saul of Tarsus was sitting, praying, and waiting.

Ananias knew what every believer in Damascus did, namely, that Saul was a bad man. He was obsessed, violent, and relentless, the kind of guy who would walk six marathons to travel from Jerusalem to Damascus to find a Christian, arrest a Christian, and kill anyone who dared to claim that Jesus was the Christ.

So when Ananias met that Saul, the Saul who came to kill him, what would he say? Acts 9 tells us, “Then Ananias went to the house and entered it. Placing his hands on Saul, he said, ‘Brother Saul’” (verse 17).

No joke. The first word out of his lips was brother. “Saul, you are my brother in Christ. Saul, you are part of my Father’s family too. Saul, despite what you have done, you belong at the table as my brother in faith.”

If you have been struggling with sin, whether drinking too much or worrying too much or losing your cool too much, it’s tempting to wonder which word Christians would use to describe you. Weak? Self-destructive? Embarrassing? But that is not who you are. In Christ you get a new name, purchased at the cross and guaranteed by the empty grave. 

Through faith in Jesus, you are my brother or my sister, my sibling in the holiest family on earth. Believe it and live according to it.