Saul is the worst kind of person. In our human eyes, he is completely undeserving of love, grace and patience. We would have tried to avoid him at all costs. In this chapter we see a true miracle happen, Saul becomes a person we don’t recognize anymore, and God does it all to show us how much he loves us.
To understand this further let’s read what Paul writes in 1 Timothy 1:15-16:
“though formally I was a blasphemer, persecutor and insolent opponent. But I received mercy because I had acted ignorantly in unbelief and the grace of our Lord overflowed for me with the faith and love that are in Christ Jesus. The saying is trustworthy and deserving of full acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am the foremost. But I received mercy for this reason, that in me, as the foremost, Jesus Christ might display his perfect patience as an example”
What he means by this is that God had you in mind when he redeemed Paul. He showed his “mercy”, “perfect patience” and “overflowing grace” so that we can take hope for our own salvation and the salvation of others even when it seems like there is no hope at all. God changed Paul suddenly and without warning; Paul wasn’t preparing his heart or life to accept God, it just happened.
This is a perfect illustration of Jesus’ suffering done for you. Saul persecutes the name of Jesus and rebels against God for YEARS. He abuses, mocks, and tears-down everything that God had built up. Jesus asks him in verse 4, “Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting me?” Saul doesn’t have an answer but drops everything to listen to the voice of Jesus.
God chose Paul way before Paul chose God.
The same love that God showed Paul, He wants to show you even when you think you’re too angry, or are too far gone, or can’t be converted, or don’t think a loved one can be converted, or aren’t good enough, or aren’t strong enough, or don’t think He can do it, God can and will suddenly and unexpectedly move and with more mercy, patience, and grace than you ever thought possible.
Hi all! I’m Grace! I live in Michigan and attend Garden Park Church of God. I’m an Industrial and Graphic designer and you may recognize my work at FUEL, mid-west family camp or in various projects throughout the conference. When I’m not designing you may find me rock climbing, gardening, or giving piano lessons. I’m excited to spend this post-Easter week with you!