Acts 8:1-9:43Acts 9:1, 3-6, “Meanwhile, Saul was uttering threats with every breath and was eager to kill the Lord’s followers. … As he was approaching Damascus on this mission, a light from heaven suddenly shone down around him. He fell to the ground and heard a voice saying to him, ‘Saul! Saul! Why are you persecuting me?’ ‘Who are you, Lord?’ Saul asked. And the voice replied, ‘I am Jesus, the one you are persecuting! Now get up and go into the city, and you will be told what you must do.’”
Have you ever known someone you thought would never give Jesus a chance? To have said that about Saul would have been a massive understatement!
Saul was famous, but for the worst of reasons. He was known for killing Christians. And in today's reading, he's gunning for Damascus to capture and imprison Christ-followers. Along the way, however, Saul has a very unexpected and epic encounter with Jesus!
This run-in with Jesus completely changed his life; he did a spiritual 180 and became one of the most ardent, hardcore followers of Christ ever to walk the planet! The same man responsible for the death of numerous Christians would go on to plant churches, equip leaders, and lead countless others to accept the good news of Jesus!
What's most amazing about this story is not that Jesus COULD use a guy like Saul, but rather that He WOULD use a guy like Saul — whom He would rename Paul. This proves that God is bigger than our biggest mistakes, and He's willing and able to use anyone at any time.
Everyone we've ever locked eyes with matters to God. Don't ever believe that someone is out of His reach; never lose hope for the person you've been praying to accept Christ. And don't ever think that your past precludes you from being used by God in a big way!
God, Please help me to remember that no one is beyond Your reach. Give me the faith to always believe that You can use anyone at any time — including me. Today, give me the opportunity to help point someone towards an encounter with Christ. Amen.