The man who has been called the greatest Christian of all time surely had the greatest conversion of all time. Saul was a militant Pharisee, a merciless persecutor of Christ-followers when the church of Jesus was just in its infancy. He rounded up young Christian leaders, like Stephen, to inflict capital punishment. He employed armed mercenaries to pull people out of the security of their own homes, under threat of death, to insist they renounce their faith in Jesus Christ. He made widowers out of husbands and widows out of wives. He made orphans out of children… and he did it without apparent conscience.
But on the Damascus Road, as he was laying the groundwork for his next assault, he was struck down by a blinding light… and a voice, “Saul, Saul, why do you persecute me?” His response was instant brokenness, “Who are you, LORD?” From there he had three days of blindness and solitude. The risen Jesus gave Saul time to reflect, to think deeply and ponder his future. Then He sent a messenger, Ananias, who placed his hands on Saul… immediately the scales fell from his eyes and he could see things clearly for the first time in his life. He got up and was baptized. And he changed! He became Paul. God chose the greatest persecutor of the church to become the greatest proclaimer of the Christ and the greatest planter of the church. I love to see these kinds of changes, and speaking personally, I want to be submitted to the Holy Spirit so I can be in a state of perpetual change… more conformed to the likeness of Jesus with the passing of time.
Pray with me… Jesus, we are so thankful that you never change. You are the same yesterday, today and forever. But, thank you for changing us, by your Spirit, as we yield to His power and presence in our lives… conforming us to greater Christlikeness with the passing of time. In the Name of Jesus, amen.