Saul is knee deep and fully committed to ridding the world of “the Way” – the growing movement claiming Jesus alone as the Way to Salvation, the only Truth, and the source of Life.
Saul wasn’t looking for Jesus. Quite the opposite…he was looking to eliminate Jesus from the Jewish narrative.
But Jesus was looking for Saul.
Mid-stride in Saul’s latest plot to destroy the Christian movement he is literally blinded by a light from heaven.
“Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting me?” the voice says.
“Who are you, Lord?” Saul asks.
“I am Jesus, who you are persecuting. But rise and enter the city, and you will be told what you are to do.”
Those traveling with Saul see nothing, but they all hear the voice. What in the world?They guide their newly blind friend the rest of the way to Damascus. Three days of blindness and fasting.
Meanwhile, a disciple in Damascus named Ananias receives a vision from the Lord telling him to go to Saul. “Go, for he is a chosen instrument of mine to carry my name before the Gentiles and kings and the children of Israel. For I will show him how much he must suffer for the sake of my name.”
Ananias goes. Saul (Paul) regains his sight, is filled with the Holy Spirit, gets baptized, and eats. His zeal is about to take a 180-degree turn… from an enemy of Jesus to one of His greatest advocates and messengers. From this point on, Paul’s entire life will be about knowing Jesus more intimately and making Him known. It will become his life’s mission. His knowledge of Jewish history, law, and prophecies; his zealous personality; his laser-focused determination will now be used for Jesus rather than against him. It won’t be easy – God even said He would show Saul how much he will suffer for His name – but Saul (Paul) won’t be deterred. He will travel and teach and plant churches and endure and comfort and correct and encourage and love, and he will write…oh, he will write; he will write the majority of the New Testament letters.
If you have a family member or friend or loved one that feels too far off to be saved; who is not only agnostic toward Jesus, but antagonistic; who is stubborn and hard-hearted…take comfort in this truth displayed most beautifully in the life of Saul (Paul): There is NO ONE too far gone for God’s hands to reach and God’s plans to pursue.
Thank you, God, for loving us when we are the most unlovable. Thank you for pursuing us when we are hiding, running from, or even attacking You. I join in prayer today for all those praying after prodigals they so dearly love. God, soften their hearts to you. Stop them in their tracks. Pull them in Your direction. And give us wisdom and discernment and the power of the Holy Spirit to come alongside You in this miracle of Salvation.
If you are praying specifically this prayer for someone, put their name (or even initials) in the comments. I will join you in prayer for them. As others join us in prayer, like the comment. Let’s do this. Let’s spur each other on in hope and prayer for those we desperately want to meet Jesus on the road of their lives. Love you guys.
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