“Isn’t he the man who raised havoc in Jerusalem among those who call on [Jesus’] name?”
— Acts 9:21
Maybe you have heard of the apostle Paul, but did you know he was also named Saul and had a nasty past? He felt that he was doing God’s work by putting Christians in prison, and he even watched approvingly as Stephen was stoned to death (Acts 7:58). Saul began using his Greek name, Paul, when he became a witness for Jesus to Greek-speaking Gentiles (Acts 13:9).
Despite all of Saul’s nasty intentions, Jesus stopped him in his tracks and turned his life around. That was shocking to many of the people who had known Saul before. The Lord changed his life and gave him a new purpose. God would use him powerfully to invite Gentiles (non-Jewish people) into his kingdom.
We can feel spiteful sometimes about people who cause trouble in our lives, but the power of Jesus can transform them from being angry, hateful, and vengeful to sharing God’s love, kindness, and peace.
Imagine how it felt for people who knew the persecutor and then saw him preaching about Jesus as the Savior (Messiah). Saul was proclaiming the grace and power of the one he had fought hardest against.
This is the power of the good news!
God, search me and find any areas in my life that you need to turn around. Help me to see how you want to repurpose my life for your glory. Amen.