When we look at the many people that God used to spread His message, one thing that I have noticed is that so many of them were men that most people would not have expected Him to use. One of my personal favorites is the Apostle Paul. Paul’s beginnings were not for God as we would see it, but against Him. And yet he himself thought that what he was doing was serving God. That was his intent. From imprisoning Christians to actually killing them, this was the work that he pursued.
After watching the stoning of Stephen, his request from the High Priest was to have a letter giving him permission to round up even women and children.
King James Version (KJV)
9 And Saul, yet breathing out threatenings and slaughter against the disciples of the Lord, went unto the high priest,
2 And desired of him letters to Damascus to the synagogues, that if he found any of this way, whether they were men or women, he might bring them bound unto Jerusalem.
This is the time that the Lord steps in and shows Paul the error of his ways:
3 And as he journeyed, he came near Damascus: and suddenly there shined round about him a light from heaven:
King James Version (KJV)
4 And he fell to the earth, and heard a voice saying unto him, Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou me?
5 And he said, Who art thou, Lord? And the Lord said, I am Jesus whom thou persecutest: it is hard for thee to kick against the pricks.
6 And he trembling and astonished said, Lord, what wilt thou have me to do? And the Lord said unto him, Arise, and go into the city, and it shall be told thee what thou must do.
When Ananias was sent to Paul, he knew Paul’s history:
10 And there was a certain disciple at Damascus, named Ananias; and to him said the Lord in a vision, Ananias. And he said, Behold, I am here, Lord.
11 And the Lord said unto him, Arise, and go into the street which is called Straight, and enquire in the house of Judas for one called Saul, of Tarsus: for, behold, he prayeth,
12 And hath seen in a vision a man named Ananias coming in, and putting his hand on him, that he might receive his sight.
13 Then Ananias answered, Lord, I have heard by many of this man, how much evil he hath done to thy saints at Jerusalem:
14 And here he hath authority from the chief priests to bind all that call on thy name.
15 But the Lord said unto him, Go thy way: for he is a chosen vessel unto me, to bear my name before the Gentiles, and kings, and the children of Israel:
16 For I will shew him how great things he must suffer for my name’s sake.
How many men like Paul, seem to us to be unlikely to spread the word of God, and yet are His “chosen vessel” to bear the Lord’s name? How often do we dismiss those very men because of what they did in the past? So many non Christians of our day, wail and gnash their teeth at the fact that so many who are spreading the word of God, are faulty men and women, people who have had a past that was less than worthy. They judge and say that these are incapable of spreading God’s word because they are nothing more than sinners who have spent their time going against the very word that they profess to now preach. And yet, these are, like Paul, men whom God Himself has chosen.
All of us are unworthy, it is only through the grace of God and the sacrifice of our Lord Jesus Christ that we have been saved. It is only through Christ that we can enter into the kingdom of God, we are all unlikely on our own. When we accept Christ into our life, we change, we put off the old man and put on the new. God forgives and forgets our past. It is our present and our future that matter.
King James Version (KJV)
21 If so be that ye have heard him, and have been taught by him, as the truth is in Jesus:
22 That ye put off concerning the former conversation the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts;
23 And be renewed in the spirit of your mind;
24 And that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness.
25 Wherefore putting away lying, speak every man truth with his neighbour: for we are members one of another.
26 Be ye angry, and sin not: let not the sun go down upon your wrath:
27 Neither give place to the devil.
28 Let him that stole steal no more: but rather let him labour, working with his hands the thing which is good, that he may have to give to him that needeth.
29 Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers.
30 And grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption.
31 Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour, and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice:
32 And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you.
This entry was posted on November 8, 2012 by patricia pledger. It was filed under Bible, Christ, Christian foundations, Christianity, Faith, God, Holy Spirit, Jesus Christ, Life, people and was tagged with Authorized King James Version, Christ, damascus, God, Jesu, Lord, Paul, saul.