God Knows…When I Wonder if I can Change – Part 1
Remember the man who watched over the coats of the people who stoned Stephen? That man was Saul of Tarsus. Saul was greatly involved in savage activity aimed at destroying belief in Christ. He went from house to house, dragging out those who believed in Jesus and arresting them. He even made sure that some were sentenced to death.
This persecution of Jesus’ followers actually helped spread the gospel, the good news of God’s love. It caused the Believers to scatter as they looked for places to live that were safer than Jerusalem. A number of them went to Damascus, about a week’s journey north by foot. Saul offered to go after them. Happy to see his vigor and zeal, the authorities sent him out to do the job.
At noon on the last day of the trip, the tired traveler crested the ridge of Mount Hermon. Below lay Damascus, a beautiful white city in a green and fruitful plain. Saul and his assistants were happy the 150-mile (240 km) trip was nearly over.
Stop Sign for Saul
Suddenly a bright light from heaven flashed around Saul. He and those with him fell to the ground. “Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting Me?” asked a voice.
Saul’s companions were terrified! The brilliant light almost blinded them. They could hear the voice, but they couldn’t understand the words. But Saul could understand the words. “Who are you, Lord?” he asked. “I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting,” came the reply.
Saul’s mind worked rapidly. He realized suddenly that Jesus was the Savior, the promised Messiah, the risen Lord, and now He was speaking directly to him. He remembered Stephen’s sermon and recognized the truth in it. He saw that he had been doing the work of Satan, not the work of God. It was the moment of truth.
“Lord, what shall I do?” asked Saul
“Arise and go into the city, and you will be told what you must do,” came the answer. Until then, Saul had done what HE thought best. Now he would begin doing what CHRIST wanted him to do.
Saul got up. But he couldn’t see a thing. Helpless and blind, he was led by the hand into Damascus. For three days Saul remained blind. He didn’t eat or drink. But he did think! Over and over he remembered the day that Stephen was killed. Sadly he thought of his past mistakes. Why had he been so blind and stubborn? So cruel? Truth was obvious, now that he opened his mind to the light of heaven. He couldn’t see, not with his eyes, and yet he could now see so clearly. He humbly confessed that he was a sinner who needed a Savior. He saw that Jesus had come to the world for that very purpose.
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