Acts 22:4,5-“I persecuted the followers of this Way to their death, arresting both men and women and throwing them into prison, as the high priest and all the Council can themselves testify. I even obtained letters from them to their associates in Damascus, and went there to bring these people as prisoners to Jerusalem to be punished.”
Saul who would become known as Paul shared with the Jews about what God had done in his life by taking him from a persecutor of the believers in Christ to the point of death, to someone who would be called by God to minister to and convert non-believers into believers of Christ. Paul even said, “I persecuted the followers of this Way (Christ) to their death.” When we read about the extremism as to which Saul persecuted the believers, one would find it unbelievable, which many did at the time, that he would now be called to share and proclaim Christ. Yet, that is what God did. Then, God called Saul/Paul to go to minister to the gentiles.
Thus, likewise, many who we share Christ with, will often respond with “Do you know what I have done? Do you know the extent of my sins? I don’t think God can forgive me.” But, God can and that is the reason why Christ came to sacrifice His life for our sins, and that His forgiveness supersedes and overcomes any sin we’ve committed if we repent and ask the Lord Jesus for forgiveness.
Then there are those who think that God cannot use them because of their past sin and deplorable lives that they’ve led; or that they continue to fall into sin. However, we are all sinners, and as long as we have a heart after the Lord that we would repent of our sins and ask for forgiveness, the Lord will forgive us “70 x 7,” which really means always. Then the sweet part is that we can use our testimony to proclaim redemption through Christ, and like Paul, go from one who led a deplorable life to one who can be a person of God and warrior for Christ.
Dear Lord, I thank you for calling me from my “BC” (Before Christ) days and life, knowing my transgressions, to serving in full-time ministry. I can so relate to Saul/Paul. Your redemptive and purposeful call to love and serve our neighbors with your Good News is an honor and privilege to share with others. Thank you for taking my mess and transforming it into your message of hope. Amen.