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March 1 – If He Can Change Me, He Can Change Anyone

March 1, 2012

“This is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners; of whom I am chief.” -1 Timothy 1:15 

Paul was a very educated man.  He studied under Gamaliel, one of the finest educators, the scriptures seem to indicate.  That was something to put on your résumé.  Paul was a very influential Pharisee.  He had a trade as a tent-maker, which he did on the side.  He was a man very committed to serving God even though he was dead wrong in the direction he was going.  He persecuted those who were leaving the faith (so to speak), the Jewish religion.  Those who were becoming Christians he was hauling off to be persecuted, and even to be put to death.  And he believed he was doing the right thing.  Jews were quickly finding out that liberty from the Old Law was a great blessing; liberty in Christ Jesus, that is.  So they were turning from a worship, according to the Jewish traditions, to the worship of Jesus Christ.  And Saul at this time (Saul was his Hebrew name), was commissioned to go fight this, to go round them up and imprison them.  Those who openly confessed Jesus as their Lord, Paul was looking for them.  And, so, he was dragging them off in the name of God.

His own words… “the chief of sinners.”  That’s what the Apostle Paul believed of himself.  I have never hauled Christians away to be killed for their faith.  What an atrocity… a terrible thing!  No doubt, when the Apostle Paul came to the knowledge of truth, he had guilt I couldn’t begin to touch.  He refers to himself as the chief of sinners, yet the Lord met him where he was, and as he was; and there was repentance, obedience, and a life changed.  God used him, I suppose as the most influential leader of the first century church; as is evidenced by the amount of writing he did.  He wrote more letters in the Bible than any other.  He was a changed man!  Changed by God’s grace.  God saw, what even Christians at that time were skeptical of, a man whom He could use.  The book of Acts reveals, following the conversion of Paul, how the Christians reacted to the news.  “Don’t bring him here!  We’ve heard about him.  We know what he’s done.”  They were a little slow to accept that God could change a man like this.  But God changed him.

If a man like Paul can be changed, and be used by God in His service, then I can be changed and used by God in His service.  And… if He can change Paul and me, He can change anybody in this world!  May I be ready to take on the challenge of working for God diligently in the Kingdom; and may I be ready to accept others when God saves them without judging their hearts.  May the fruit of His righteousness shine upon those who are outside of Christ and may I be used is some way to meet their needs.

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. Lowell R. Price permalink
    April 10, 2012 1:33 pm

    If we will learn to judge ourselves before we judge others we may be surprised how often we will aquit rather than condemn. Papa

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