The Story: From “Then the high priest asked Stephen,” on pg 398 to “by proving that Jesus is the Messiah.” On pg 400.
“The LORD said, ‘Go, for Saul is My chosen instrument to take My message to the Gentiles and to kings, as well as to the people of Israel.” Acts 9:15
You know the moment, when teams are being picked and the captains are taking turns choosing team members. Do you hold your breath, praying that you’re not the last one chosen? Have you ever tried out for a part in a play, or interviewed for a job? At some point in all our lives we’ve all wanted something – to be chosen. Whether it was for a team, a part, or a position, it’s all the same. We all want to be “the one” that gets chosen. We want to be someone’s preferred person for that job.
In today’s Word of the Day Saul was that person. God had chosen him, Saul of Tarsus, to be His ambassador of the Good News to the Gentiles. God knew that Saul, the zealous murderer and persecutor of His church would be the perfect person to preach about Grace to the world. Why? God knew that experience is one of the best teachers. And who better to teach about God’s amazing Grace than someone who had received such a huge dose of it that it turned their lives so completely upside down that EVERYONE around was bound to notice.
In Luke 7:36-50 Jesus is sitting at dinner with his friends and some religious officials when a sinful woman comes in and washes His feet with her tears, dries them with her hair, kisses them and anoints them with expensive perfume. Simon, the host of the dinner, said to himself, “If this man were a prophet, He would know what kind of woman is touching Him. She’s a sinner!” And Jesus, knowing Simon’s thoughts told him a parable.
There was a man who lent two men money. To one he lent $29,000 and the other he lent $2,900. Neither of them could pay him so he canceled both their debts. Which one is going to love him more, thank him more and be more appreciative of the cancelation of the debt?
The one who owed more!
While all the apostles were grateful for their sins having been forgiven them, Saul was even more so! Unlike the other apostles (but just like Moses and David) Saul had committed murder. And he hadn’t murdered murderers, or thieves, or drug dealers, he had murdered innocent men doing God’s will!!! Talk about a debt of guilt!
God CHOSE Saul to be a minister of Grace because he had received more of it than anyone else! Saul knew what it felt like to realize his sins and to be forgiven for ALL of them. Saul knew what it felt like to have THE marvelous light shine down on him in such power that it blinded him. It blinded him and made him see.
For the first time he saw the TRUTH that he hadn’t been fighting men, he had been fighting God! The light of the Truth knocked him down from his high horse to the dust from which he came and provided clarity of vision. He realized in the light of that moment how blind he had been and repented of his ways. Saul thought he had been fighting for God and came to realize that he had been fighting against God. But God is good and gracious and had chosen Saul for a specific job; a job that Saul would be perfect for, once he saw the light. And oh my friends, once he saw the light of God’s amazing Grace, there was NO stopping Saul in the completion of God’s chosen mission for him!
Lord, I thank You that You have chosen us and not rejected us. I thank You that like Saul we too are Your chosen instrument for Your chosen plan for us. And I praise You for it. Lord, if there is something where we’ve been fighting You, I pray that today You would shine Your marvelous light upon our blindness and help us to see with brilliant clarity precisely what You’ve chosen us for. Lord, I thank You for the knowledge and reassurance that once we stop fighting against You on this and start fighting with You – we too will be unstoppable! In Jesus’ name, Amen!!!