From murderer to minister
Paul’s autobiography is fascinating. Paul pushed life into the red. Everything he did he did passionately and at full speed. If he believed in something, nothing could faze him. If he believed in the same things that his parents did, everything not in line with that simply had to be wiped out. Therefore, he hunted and killed those who did not believe the way he did.
Wow, they really lived in a different kind of time.
But the meeting with God on the road to Damascus changed Paul’s life drastically. He came face to face with the almighty God. This stopped him in his tracks and changed him irrevocably. He had killed Christians with a passion before and with that same zeal he now stormed the unsaved world wanting to convert everybody he met to Christ.
And even though the people didn’t know him at all, they simply had to listen to him. Paul himself said: 22 After all that time and activity I was still unknown by face among the Christian churches in Judea. 23 There was only this report: “That man who once persecuted us is now preaching the very message he used to try to destroy.”
This last sentence makes me smile. Such a short report, which says something about their surprise, but they must’ve been glad that he now proclaimed the Gospel, because if he hadn’t turned around somewhere along the way, they might have been at the end of his sword. And so: 24Their response was to recognize and worship God because of me!
When someone bumps into God, everything changes. Radically. First, Paul murdered people with a passion, but after he bumped into God, he did the exact opposite.
I grow ice-cold when I look at my own life. I do know God. Yes, I did not have such a drastic meeting as Paul did and I certainly never killed people for not believing like my mom and dad did. But I do know God. I am a Christian. I call his Name. Boldly I say I’m going to heaven one day and yes, that is so, because Jesus also died on the cross for my sin. But I keep stopping at the last verse: 24Their response was to recognize and worship God because of me!
Who recognizes and worships God because of me? Who recognizes and worships God because I no longer mess around with life? Who recognizes and worships God because I chose god? Who recognizes and worships God because I proclaim his good news?
Nothing but silence…
Well, boys, we cannot allow life to go by day by day while there are people around us who need Jesus’ message, but don’t hear it. God is powerful. In one meeting He can turn a person from murderer into minister. God wants to change you like that too. He wants to make an impact in the world through you. He wants to change people.
Give God space in your life so that He can turn you around as well. May other people then: 24… recognize and worship God because of … you!
Who do you know who needs God in their lives?
What can you do?
Do you give God enough space to turn you around?
Lord, again I need to come to a stop, because I wonder whether enough people can say that I’ve had an impact in their lives. Maybe a couple, but I know that You want to make an even bigger impact in the world. I want to make more space for your work in my life. Please turn me around, Lord, and use me to turn others around. Amen