It astonished Paul whenever he thought about Godís goodness to him. Paul was not trying to become a Christian when God acted powerfully in his life. Instead, Paul had decided that he would use every effort to oppose the first Christians.
Paul (then called Saul) approved of the death of Stephen, the first Christian who died because of his beliefs (Acts 8:1). Paul put both men and women in prison (Acts 8:3). He travelled to Damascus where he wanted to arrest more Christians.
It was on that journey that Paul met the living Christ (Acts 9:3-7; Acts 9:17). Paul had not been present when Christ became alive after his death. Paul did not see Christ when Peter, James and many other Christians saw him (15:5-7). When Christ gave them the task to declare Godís good news across the world, Paul was not there. Because of that task, they are called apostles. An apostle is a servant whose master (here, Christ) sends to carry out an important task.
Paul did not deserve to be an apostle; he did not deserve anything from God. Actually, nobody deserves a right relationship with God; it is Godís gift, because of his kindness. Christ died to save people who do not deserve his love.
From Paulís experiences, we can see how great Godís kindness is. Christ met this cruel enemy of the Christians, and Christ gave him a new life. Paul lacked nothing in this relationship with Christ. Paul too had seen that Christ was alive. Paul too received his duties as an apostle from Christ himself.
God has not changed, and his kindness has not ended. If you invite him into your life, he can change your life too.
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© 2014, Keith Simons.