Saul – from persecutor to apostle…

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Ananias_Paul

Acts 9:10 Now there was a disciple in Damascus named Ananias. The Lord said to him in a vision, “Ananias.” He answered, “Here I am, Lord.” 11 The Lord said to him, “Get up and go to the street called Straight, and at the house of Judas look for a man of Tarsus named Saul. At this moment he is praying, 12 and he has seen in a vision a man named Ananias come in and lay his hands on him so that he might regain his sight.” 13 But Ananias answered, “Lord, I have heard from many about this man, how much evil he has done to your saints in Jerusalem; 14 and here he has authority from the chief priests to bind all who invoke your name.” 15 But the Lord said to him, “Go, for he is an instrument whom I have chosen to bring my name before Gentiles and kings and before the people of Israel; 16 I myself will show him how much he must suffer for the sake of my name.” 17 So Ananias went and entered the house.

Ananias was understandably hesitant at the mention of Saul, who at the time was a well-known persecutor of Christians. Saul would later become known as “Paul” the apostle to the Gentiles. It was Paul who would establish several of the earliest churches outside of Jerusalem and would write much of the New Testament scriptures.

Saul is such an outside the box choice here. Ananias was like, “Are ya kidding me right now Lord?!” But that’s how God works throughout the biblical narrative. God is continually choosing the least likely sorts of people to do the work of the Kingdom.

This story gives me hope because for most of my life I’ve felt like the wrong kind of person to be a church leader. I don’t have the life-long Christian resume as others do. I wasn’t brought up in a home of strong faith. I don’t have others in my family who are clergy. I didn’t go to Christian camps or Christian college. Yet here I am serving as a pastor, making plenty of mistakes but getting it right sometimes too – by the grace of God.

You may sense God’s prompting to serve the Kingdom in some meaningful way. but you think you’re the wrong sort of person for the job. Surely God must be mistaken. Isn’t there someone else better qualified? Today’s story illustrates why you may be exactly the sort of person God would choose. You don’t need the right background or resume. All you need is for God to tap you on the shoulder and give you grace to say “yes”.

Lord, let it be so. Amen.

 

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