Opening your life to God’s Word on a consistent basis over a long period of time will slowly but surely begin to shape your thoughts, perspective, attitudes, and actions. You will start out just reading God’s Word and it will eventually begin to read you! God’s truth will challenge you and help you to see as God sees! Watch how God’s perspective will begin to influence you in ways you never imagined! Stick with the plan! Open your heart to God and He will transform you from the inside out!
In His Love,
Saul spent several days with the disciples in Damascus. At once he began to preach in the synagogues that Jesus is the Son of God. All those who heard him were astonished and asked, "Isn't he the man who raised havoc in Jerusalem among those who call on this name? And hasn't he come here to take them as prisoners to the chief priests?" Yet Saul grew more and more powerful and baffled the Jews living in Damascus by proving that Jesus is the Christ. After many days had gone by, the Jews conspired to kill him, but Saul learned of their plan. Day and night they kept close watch on the city gates in order to kill him. But his followers took him by night and lowered him in a basket through an opening in the wall. When he came to Jerusalem, he tried to join the disciples, but they were all afraid of him, not believing that he really was a disciple. Acts 9: 19b-26
We have said this before; we will say it again: Paul (This is the name Saul began to use in Acts 13 and is known as “Paul” throughout the rest of the New Testament)….before he became a follower of Christ….was a religious thug….a hit man! While seen as a rock star among the Jewish people, he was a holy terror to the followers of Christ. In every city, Paul sought to imprison, beat, or kill anyone related to Jesus. When Paul became a Christian on the road to Damascus, Jesus called him to be His “chosen instrument” to share Christ with the Jews and Gentiles (those who had no relationship with God). The only problem? No one liked Paul now! The golden boy of Judaism was now the enemy of the Jews. They were conspiring to kill him! The Christian community remembered that Paul was the one who “raised havoc” against the followers of Jesus in Jerusalem. The apostles of Jesus were afraid to meet with him because of his reputation. Paul had a bounty on his head and those who would most likely embrace or support him were still very skeptical and unwilling to meet with him. Paul had lots of reasons for not sharing Christ! Yet against all odds……….Paul shared Christ anyway!
Most followers of Christ find sharing the good news of Christ and His love to be very difficult at times. How can we share when our lives are a mess? What if we don’t know the answers to our non-believing friends’ questions? Since Christians don’t have the best of reputations among non-believers, will we be lumped into the category of “weird, judgmental, and hypocritical” simply by association? I am so glad that Paul did not allow his fears to keep him from sharing Christ. When Paul first started to share his new found faith, no one liked him….no one believed in him….some even wanted him dead! But Paul does not allow his most difficult of circumstances to vanquish his passion to share Christ with others! Paul was not perfect. Paul had a past. Paul had no friends. Yet Paul was fearlessly in love with the One who saved him and gave him a new life. What are the obstacles that keep you from sharing Christ? Is it your past? Jesus has forgiven you by the power of the cross! Why do you keep looking over your shoulder? Do you feel you don’t know enough? Are you afraid of being considered a hypocrite? Welcome to the club! We are all hypocrites in some way! What would it mean today if we stopped allowing our fears to rule our lives? What if Christ followers everywhere put aside our fears and started living out our love for Jesus in public in an authentic and compassionate way? One hundred years from now it won’t matter what people thought of us. All that will matter is “Did we point them to Jesus?”
Heavenly Father, my circumstances for sharing Christ will never be perfect. There will always be risks attached to going public with my faith. By the power of Your Holy Spirit, give me the fearless passion of Paul to point others to You! Amen.