I don’t think that there is a more powerful NT example of transformation in an individual’s life than the example of Saul. Only God can touch a life so dramatically that the main antagonist of the Christian faith becomes one of its key players.
Saul, the ‘Persecutor of the Christian faith’, in a very short time, is transformed into the ‘Proclaimer’. Not only that, he becomes the ‘Apostle to the Gentiles’ and proceeds to preach the Gospel in many nations. His influence continues to touch our lives today as we flick through the pages of Scripture, and read the life-changing words that he penned, as he was inspired by the Holy Spirit.
When Saul encountered the risen Christ on the way to Damascus (Acts 9), his life was never the same again. His transformation was so deeply impacting that, within days, he began to preach, in the synagogue, that Jesus was the Son of God (Acts 9:20). This was the same man who had previously been speaking ‘murderous threats against the Lord’s disciples’ (Acts 9:1), imprisoning them, and doing all in his power and influence to destroy the infant Church.
No wonder the Jerusalem disciples were afraid of him, and were reluctant to take him into their ranks (Acts 9:26). His conversion experience was just ‘too good to be true’, they reasoned, and, if it hadn’t been for Barnabus, the Apostles would have continued to hold Saul at arm’s length. They personally knew that the Gospel had the power to transform lives, but they were not expecting this. Saul, who later would be known as Paul, would continue to cross paths with the other Apostles for years to come. But the fruit from his ministry was a powerful testimony that God had wonderfully transformed his life.
I believe, with all my heart, that the gospel of Jesus Christ is transformational. No person is too evil to be beyond salvation, and no life too broken that it can’t be healed. It is with this conviction that I travel to the nations with Ellel Ministries and share that which has been entrusted to me.
Is there a ‘Saul’ in your life, in need of a life changing encounter with God? Or maybe a family member or friend who appears closed in their heart to the Gospel. ‘Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever’ (Hebrews 13:8) and if He can transform the life of Saul of Tarsus, He can also transform the life of your loved one. Nothing is impossible for Him, nor anyone beyond His reach to save. Remember that He ‘wants ALL people to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth’ (1 Timothy 2:4).
Prayer: Father God, I echo the words of the Apostle Paul when he proclaimed that he was not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, because it is the power of God for the salvation of all who believe (Romans 1:16). I stand in the gap in prayer on behalf of … Thank You that it is Your will that they come to know You. Father, will You bring people and circumstances across their path that will help point them to You. In Jesus’ name. Amen.
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