Salvation happens in a moment, maturity takes place over a lifetime. The process of progress in Christlikeness is called discipleship. A disciple is one who is continuously being pressed towards obedience to the Lordship of Jesus Christ in their life. This week we look at the life of Paul and how God deconstructed and reconstructed him into a fully devoted Christ-follower. Take some time as you read to contemplate where you are in your discipleship with Jesus. We would also love for you to share this devotional with your friends.
“. . . I received it through a revelation of Jesus Christ.” Galatians 1:12
It's not religion we as Christians are called to share. It's Christ. The moment we try to hold our faith in such a way we keep it to ourselves and make no effort to influence other people who might be freed by it, we are showing that we have a complete misunderstanding of the situation.
Anyone who is gripped by religion must either change it or spread it. Since the gospel is true, then our responsibility is to spread it, to have it prevail in the hearts of others. In a flash, Paul gives up his old religious ways. This is a shift from the causes of Saul’s conversion to the consequences of his conversion and he regains his sight in two strategic ways:
A New Reverence
The very same mouth that had been breathing out murderous threats was now breathing out prayers. Prayers of forgiveness for all his self-righteous persecution of Jesus through His followers. He was breathing out praise. Praise that God would show him such great mercy and give him power to carry out a new ministry.
Still today the first fruit of conversion is always a new reverence for the fatherhood of God, as the Spirit enables us to cry Abba Father, together with thankfulness for His mercy and a longing to serve Him better. There's no genuine conversion if it doesn’t result in a Godly life.
A New Relationship
Saul was introduced to the church in a new way. Saul who had been the arch enemy of the church was now a welcomed member of the family of God. "Welcome to the family brother Saul" were the first words which Saul ever heard from the lips of a Christian. Ananias putting his hands on Saul was a gesture of love to a blind man who could not see the smile on Ananias face, but could feel the pressure of his hands.
Today we are called to Go and be the church to others. To change the way people see Christ, Christians, and the Church.
What's your reverence for God like? Is your relationship to the Church healthy?