God certainly has a way of using the most unlikely people and circumstances to accomplish His goals! Saul was no exception to that. As a relentless persecutor of the early church, Saul had instilled fear in the lives of many due to his remorseless acts. He would be one of the last people on earth that the early disciples would see as being used by God to spread the message of Jesus to the Saul was a man with a past – a notorious one at that. Many people had trouble believing that he could actually change from the murderous man that he was, into a Christ follower. Their fear was understandable, but I’m sure it must have been difficult for him as he tried to live out his new faith. Our pasts can be difficult to move away from.
Many of us at New Hope have pasts that would make the lives that we are leading now seem unimaginable. Our lives have been transformed as we have allowed Jesus to come in and make a home in our hearts, healing wounds and rewiring the way we think. Although our spiritual journeys may not have been as dramatic as Saul’s, they are miraculous nonetheless. I love that.
Gratitude is the byproduct when we realize the grace that has been given to us, and gratitude makes us want to give back. I witnessed that this weekend as our church pulled together to pack over ½ million meals with Feed My Starving Children to help the people of Haiti who have been devastated by Hurricane Matthew. I’m grateful to be part of a community of believers who say yes to meeting the needs of others.
Saul, later called Paul, was used tremendously by God, past and all, and God desires to do that with us as well. We could never go so far that God’s grace can’t reach us. When we truly accept that, it changes everything. Gentiles. And yet, he was exactly the man that God wanted to use.
Executive Director of Education and Outreach