Friday 20th September 2019 Prayer Devotion
Scripture Reading:- Acts 9:1-26
Topic:- Saul Called Paul
Text:- 1 Timothy 1:13
A. A deadly, notorious, fearless killer got broken down and became born again. Paul’s conversion began when, with a flash of light, he fell from his horse.
One feast day that often slips by without notice is the feast of the conversion of St. Paul. This miraculous event, which has been part of the Church calendar for more than 1,500 years, is an unmovable feast, as he was among the greatest of the missionaries spreading the words of Jesus Christ.
Further, he is an example that anyone, even the most hardened unbeliever or the vilest heretic, can be created anew by our loving Savior.
B. On His Road to Damascus:
Saul, which is Paul’s given name, was born into a Jewish family in Tarsus (Turkey) around the year A.D. 8; he was also a Roman citizen, a fact that would play a large role later in his life.
Schooled as a Pharisee, he was a tent maker by trade, but was most noted for his hatred of Christians. He believed the teachings of Jesus violated Mosaic Law and zealously harassed, and even jailed, anyone who followed those teachings.
Saul is found in Acts 7:58, as he is a bystander watching his fellow Jews stone Stephen to death. An aggressive persecutor of Christians in Jerusalem.
Saul sought and received permission from the high priest to proceed to Damascus for the purpose of imprisoning more followers of Christ.
Most Christians know the story of what happened on the Damascus road: the bright light that knocked Saul down, the voice of Jesus, Saul’s blindness and immediate response to the calling of Christ.
In the manner of the first Apostles who, when beckoned by Christ, gave up their lifestyles to follow him, Saul too doesn’t hesitate. He says yes.
Blinded from his encounter with Jesus, he allowed himself to be led into Damascus where he was baptized, after which he set out to spread the news of Jesus.
Paul would repeat the story of his conversion again and again throughout his life, including to the different magistrates and kings who judged his activities. The book of Acts, in three places, tells the story of Saul’s experience on the Damascus road.
C. Impact of his conversion:
Saul’s sudden change confused those around him, because he was known as one who hated Christians, who went about seeking them out to eliminate those individuals he genuinely considered as breaking Jewish law.
Suddenly he was transformed from despising the followers of Jesus into fervently espousing the Gospel of that same Jesus. No one could have anticipated this conversion; it is one of the great miracles of mankind.
After his baptism, Saul, who would be called Paul in the 13th chapter of Acts, went to the desert of Arabia to pray and contemplate his calling.
He then returned to Damascus and into the synagogue, where he attested to the divinity of Jesus. While he had no Christian training, God infused words in his heart and in his mouth.
The Jews in Damascus would eventually connive against him. The threat grew so severe that other Christians assisted Paul in an escape that included lowering him over the city walls in a basket. This was only the beginning of the threats and attacks on Paul. Henceforth, he was often regarded as a social undesirable, an agitator and a leader of a dangerous sect.
From Damascus, he traveled to Jerusalem, where his reputation as a persecutor of Christians preceded him and Christians there were unsure and confounded by his appearance. Here he met and spent time with Peter, becoming even more determined to serve his Savior.
Prayer Point:- I declared that my salvation is genuine , help me oh Lord God that my salvation will be real till the end of my life, in the name of Jesus Christ.
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