for some days he was with the disciples at damascus. and immediately he proclaimed Jesus in the synagogues, saying, “he is the Son of God.” and all who heard him were amazed and said, “is not this the man who made havoc in jerusalem of those who called upon this name? and has he not come here for this purpose, to bring them bound before the chief priests?” but saul increased all the more in strength, and confounded the jews who lived in damascus by proving that Jesus was the Christ. [acts 9:19-22]
i’m always blown away at the 180 conversion of saul (paul). he heads off to damascus with a hate-filled heart, hoping to eradicate christianity by dragging Jesus’ followers off in chains to be tried and punished for their rebellion against jewish authority. he is the furthest person i would expect God to choose, change, and use. and yet, meeting Jesus on that very road, he submits to his authority, bends his face to the ground at his glory, and experiences the most radical heart change. being blinded, he continues onto damascus, but has to be led by the hand, helpless, broken. there, a man reluctantly heals his blindness as instructed by the Lord, and saul receives the Holy Spirit. a few days recovery, and he’s back on the street, proclaiming Jesus as the Christ, the Messiah sent to save, the very Son of God! no probation, no preparation, no theological testing. did he know God’s word? yes, but it was of no value to his heart until Jesus gave it life. he was dead, he was called, he was changed, he proclaimed.
so what are you waiting for?
if you think you are too new in Christ, paul was newer, and Christ gives all wisdom
if you think your past is too dark, paul’s was darker, and Christ is the light of men
if you think you are too weak, paul was weak, and Christ is stronger
but you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light. [1 peter 2:9]
we are called to proclaim the excellencies of Christ. and as his child, you have much to proclaim! God has done marvelous things in the world, for his people, and in your heart. it’s time that others hear about it. who can you tell today?
Father, i know i am weak. i have nothing to offer except Christ in me. thank you for your love, your mercy, and your grace. thank you for making me your own possession, giving me new life and purpose. show your power through me today. give me boldness to proclaim your excellencies! to the praise of your glorious grace. amen.