Scripture text for Monday, April 19th, 2010: Acts 9:1-9:31
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This passage is one of the most famous conversion stories over the centuries of christian faith. God speaking to Saul on the road to Damascus, blinding him, transforming his life and the lives of the millions (probably billions) of Christians that are his spiritual grandchildren throughout the centuries.
As I was reading the passage, I thought about my own experience. No audible message from God, no blinding light, and no late night escape from a foreign city via special agent antics. Does that make my conversion any less special in God’s eyes? Does that mean I will be less effective member of the body of believers? I know that the answer is clearly no, but sometimes it doesn’t feel that way.
We all have friends that have been saved from the insidious and crushing nature of addiction, depression, infidelity, failing marriages, and failing health. This is a physical manifestation of the power of God to transform our lives here on earth, but regardless of where we are in life or the challenges we are facing when we meet him, we are all transformed and our life is headed on a radically different path. God has helped us all overcome the biggest challenge in our lives, our eternal separation from him through our sin. The literal switch from eternal death to eternal life.
With all this in mind, I found the last part of today’s passage revealing. When you read Acts 9:26, the believers in Jerusalem are afraid to let Paul join them (and probably rightfully so). It took the testimony of Barnabas, that Paul’s life really had changed. A reminder that when we are transformed by Christ, we don’t escape the sins of our past, but do have an opportunity to live in the freedom that salvation that has to offer. If you allow him he can use your past for his Glory. We might just affect a life, rescue a family, or even change world history.
Devotion prepared by Everette Mills