now as he went on his way, he approached damascus, and suddenly a light from heaven shone around him. and falling to the ground, he heard a voice saying to him, “saul, saul, why are you persecuting me?” and he said, “who are you, Lord?” and he said, “i am Jesus, whom you are persecuting. [acts 9:3-5]
this is the moment when saul, later known as paul, met Jesus.
saul was …
- an upright religious leader,
- who oversaw the arrest and murder of many Christ followers,
- who in the name of God tried to destroy God’s church,
- who unknowingly persecuted Jesus, the Son of God, the head of the church.
saul thought he was serving the Lord.
saul believed his violence was exalting God’s name.
then he met Jesus … and everything changed.
his actions changed.
- he became one who exalted – instead of persecuting Jesus.
- he became one who built up the church of Jesus – instead of destroying it.
- he became a follower of Jesus – instead of a hater of Jesus.
his heart changed.
- he became sorrowful for his self-righteous acts – everything he did that he thought made him right with God.
- he repented of his former thoughts and beliefs that his actions made him right before God – trusting only Jesus to make him right with God.
- he grew a love for Jesus, his people, and his ways.
- he went from arrogant and hateful – to humble and bold in his love.
his whole life changed because of one moment on a road to damascus – when he met Jesus.
question – have you met Jesus?
- have you become sorrow and repentant for thinking you can make yourself right before God?
- have you repented of these beliefs that made you savior and put you in the place of Jesus?
- if not – he is with you now. you can trust your soul and life to him. he gave up his life so you could have his. he took your shame so you could have his joy. he took your guilt so you could have his freedom. he was separated from his Father and took all his wrath so you could be united with God in all his love.
for God so love the world (you), that he gave his only son, that whoever believes in him, would not perish but have eternal life. [john 3:16]
two more questions…
if you have not – will you trust your soul to Jesus today? that is what it means to believe in him. turn from all your ways of self-salvation – and turn to Jesus alone who saves and gives life. call out to him – “Jesus, i am a sinner. i trust my soul to you and you alone. forgive me and make me yours.” he promised if you call on his name for salvation you will become his son / daughter. call out now!
if you are a Christ follower already – will you take a moment today to let him show you all the ways your actions and heart are changing? take a pen, take a moment – and ask the Lord to speak. ask him to show you all the ways your actions and heart are changing. it will be amazing! it will lead to thanksgiving and worship! and, i promise, you will enjoy his presence!
~ john ryan