Acts 26 records Paul’s story as he tells it to King Agrippa. If there was ever a story of profound life change after an encounter with Jesus, it’s Paul’s.
9 “I used to believe that I ought to do everything I could to oppose the very name of Jesus the Nazarene. 10 Indeed, I did just that in Jerusalem. Authorized by the leading priests, I caused many believers there to be sent to prison. And I cast my vote against them when they were condemned to death. 11 Many times I had them punished in the synagogues to get them to curse Jesus. I was so violently opposed to them that I even chased them down in foreign cities.
12 “One day I was on such a mission to Damascus, armed with the authority and commission of the leading priests. 13 About noon, Your Majesty, as I was on the road, a light from heaven brighter than the sun shone down on me and my companions. 14 We all fell down, and I heard a voice saying to me in Aramaic, ‘Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting me? It is useless for you to fight against my will.’
The entire trajectory of Paul’s life was changed in that moment and he was never the same again. His change was so profound that he would ultimately give his life for his belief in Jesus. (The exact details of his death are unknown, but tradition holds that he was beheaded in Rome.) He was used in a remarkable way to further the message of Christ.
Paul’s life is proof that no one is beyond the grace of Jesus. If Paul, who persecuted to the point of death many because of their faith in Jesus, could be transformed, there’s room for all of us. God is in pursuit of your heart no matter what your past may entail. No matter what you’ve done, He is able to forgive, restore and equip you for a life of purpose and hope. All you have to do is surrender yourself to Him, asking Him to forgive you and to be the Lord of your life.
Where do you stand with Jesus today? Do you know Him? If not, I encourage you to take a look at Paul’s story in Acts 26 and ask yourself what could be so powerful that would change a man like Saul into the Apostle Paul.
Executive Director of Education and Outreach