Transformed from Saul to Paul!
Scripture reading for June 13th: Acts 9:1-25
What was your conversion like? I remember going to an altar at the little Methodist church on a Thursday night youth meeting in response to the Gospel. I heard the message and knew I needed to make a commitment. I remember the feeling of change and the excitement of knowing sins forgiven. We should all think back and remember our time of change! God saw fit to record the change in one of His servants, Saul, in today’s reading.
Saul was a Pharisee, zealous for the Jewish tradition. He saw in the Christians a threat to His traditions and became very zealous to rid the world of them. To his way of thinking, these people needed to be eliminated. He went to the high priest and got letters authorizing him to arrest any of this sect he called ‘the Way’. (Acts 9:1-2)
“As he neared Damascus on his journey, suddenly a light from heaven flashed around him. He fell to the ground and heard a voice say to him, “Saul, Saul why do you persecute Me?” “Who are you, Lord?” Saul asked. “I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting,” He replied. “Now get up and go into the city, and you will be told what you must do.” (Acts 9:3-6) Saul was personally confronted by Jesus as he went to round up more Christians. Jesus told him who He was and that his actions were against Him! The revelation of Jesus was in a bright light that flashed like lightning around Saul. When he got up to go, he was blind and those with him had to lead him into the city by the hand, where Saul prayed and fasted for three days.
In Damascus, another disciple named Ananias was given a vision of the Lord. As he responded, the Lord told him to go to the house where Saul was praying and lay hands on him to restore his sight. Ananias told the Lord his concerns, but he was reassured and sent to Saul. “Go! This man is My chosen instrument to carry My name before Gentiles and their kings and before the people of Israel. I will show him how much he must suffer for My name.” (Acts 9:15-16) Saul’s sight was restored and he was filled with the Holy Spirit and baptized in water. The miraculous conversion would change the world!