Scripture: Acts 9:19b-31
Key verse: (21) All who heard him were amazed, and said, “Is not this the man who made havoc in Jerusalem among those who invoked this name? And has he not come here for the purpose of bringing them bound before the chief priests?”
Reflection: Is transformation possible? Saul was a religious leader who persecuted faithful people. After Jesus’ death and resurrection, the early church grew exponentially despite persecution. According to Acts 9, Saul was traveling to Damascus in order to arrest anyone who “belonged to the Way” (the early description of those who sought to live in the way of Jesus Christ in the world) and bring them as captives to Jerusalem. On the way to Damascus, Saul had an encounter with the Lord that blinded him. A disciple named Ananias was sent by God to heal Saul of his blindness. After his healing, Saul immediately began to preach the good news of Jesus. We know this man as Paul; even his name changed!
All who heard Saul preaching were amazed. They knew Saul, or knew about him, and couldn’t imagine that he had been transformed to become a missionary of the gospel.
This gives me hope that God is able to use the most unlikely people to further the kingdom. And that includes me! God’s gracious power can transform lives. On the days when “who I want to be” feels far removed from who I am, I am hopeful that God transforms in amazing miraculous ways.
God is able to use the most unlikely people to further the kingdom. And that includes them, whoever they are! Whoever I have a fixed idea about, whoever I ignore or write off or avoid, whoever I think is a lost cause or a hopeless case, God might be transforming them in a way that will surprise me.
Prayer: O God, open my eyes to see the good news where I least expect to see it today. Transform me to be more like Jesus Christ so that my life proclaims good news too. Amen.
Author: Millie Snyder
[Scripture quotations are from New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright © 1989 National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved].