I was reading Acts 9:1-22 about Saul who is now Paul in the bible. This passage of scripture was preached about in last Sunday’s evening service. I decided to read about this myself early this week and God spoke to me through this story. It’s about the encounter of Christ and how he was blinded and God sent Ananias, a disciple, to go to Saul. This caused fear to rise up in Ananias because Saul used to persecute Christians and kill them. God then replied,
“Go, for he is an instrument who I have chosen to bring my name before Gentiles and kings and before the people of Israel; ” (Acts 9:15)
I don’t know about you but that particular verse really hit me. Every single person on Earth was created and formed in their mother’s womb. They were born into this world for a purpose, created to worship God and glorify Him. Each of us are a vessel of the Lord that He will pour Himself into. When God looks at us, He doesn’t see what the world sees.
Maybe it’s just me but sometimes we can have this “us vs them” mentality; Christians versus non-believers. And I understand that “friendship with the world is enmity with God” and though we were born into this world, we are not of this world. But there’s a reason why we are in this world – to go and share the gospel. To bring hope and joy to those who are yearning. To be the salt and the light of the world.
“For we are the aroma of Christ to God among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing” 2 Corinthians 2:15.
Jesus came not for the proud, the righteous or the ones that needed to be saved. He came for those that were lost, broken-hearted, sinners and those who strayed away. He came for those that needed healing, deliverance and forgiveness, like the lady who wept before Jesus and poured her perfume all over her feet. He came for every single one us so that we could be reconciled to Himself. He came down to Earth, took on flesh and died for you.
Saul had that one encounter that completely arrested him and had a revelation about Christ like never before. In verse 22, it says “Saul became increasingly more powerful and confounded the Jews who lived in Damascus by proving that Jesus was Messiah”.
If it wasn’t for that one encounter, half of the New Testament wouldn’t have been written. Churches wouldn’t have been established and Christ wouldn’t have been proclaimed to the Jews and Gentiles.
Let’s look at another story, the woman of Samaria found in John 4. The lady at the well also had an encounter and began sharing how no one else knew about her past like Jesus did. Many people in Samaria came to see and because of their encounters with Jesus, they also believed in Him.
Then the woman left her water jar and went back to the city. She said to the people, “Come and see a woman who had told me everything I have ever done! He cannot be the messiah, can He? They left the city and were on their way to him” (John 4:28-30)
And in verse 42:
They said to the woman, “It is no longer because of what you said that we believe, for we have heard for ourselves, and we know that this is truly the Saviour of the world”
You may look to others and their lifestyles. And you say within yourself – “They need Jesus and more“. Then go tell them about Jesus. Instead of spreading gossip about them, spread the gospel. Pray for them that they would have an encounter that will completely shape their lives.
Sometimes we forget what it was like to be on the other side of salvation. I don’t know if its amnesia but, we must never forget who were before Christ. Remember what it was like when you didn’t know Christ and how you had that one encounter with Him. That moment when you tasted of His goodness, understood the finished work of the cross, and when it dawned on you that the love of God is so unconditional.
There are so many other people out there living without a relationship with God. There are others that don’t have the knowledge of Jesus and live as enemies of the cross. There are many sheep that don’t know the Shepherd.
So can I encourage you to love on others and whoever God leads you to minister to – be obedient and don’t judge them. No one knows their true identity until they know God. All it takes is that one encounter and you will be amazed at how God can restore and change a person’s life.
God bless you,