I have a friend whose father died and never had a relationship with God. As a matter of fact, my friend wasn't a believer at that time, either. But my friend told me how he went to visit his father in his hospital room and noticed that one day, not long before he passed, there was a copy of the Bible there in his father's room. It was apparent that his father had requested it, knowing the end was near.
I am the LORD . . . they shall not be ashamed who wait for me. Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord, and whose hope is the Lord
You would think that, upon hearing of Saul's (later known as Paul) conversion, the early church would have given him a standing ovation. The fact is that the believers were still suspicious, because in Acts 9:26 we read, "When Saul had come to Jerusalem, he tried to join the disciples; but they were all afraid of him. . . ."
The religious leaders thought they had eliminated the problem when they crucified Jesus. But now, His disciples were preaching and performing miracles. It was as though Jesus had returned. And so He had—in the hearts and lives of His people.
After hearing the voice of Jesus on the road to Damascus, Saul (later to become Paul) was left blind. He was led to the home of a man named Judas in Damascus, and he had no idea what would happen next.
We don't read of anyone in Scripture actually sharing the gospel with Saul (who later became the apostle Paul). But God used a number of people to prepare his heart to receive it.
We throw the word "hero" around a lot today. If a basketball player is adept at sinking the ball in the basket, we say that he or she is a sports hero. A musician who is really good on a guitar is called a guitar hero. But do we actually know what a hero is anymore?
Do you have big dreams to accomplish something great for God?
Why does God allow suffering in our lives? Why does He allow us to experience adversity?
If the apostle Paul had converted to Christianity in our day, he would be offered a book deal immediately. He would be discussing his unexpected conversion on all the talk shows and would be sharing his dramatic testimony in churches across the country.
It has been said that men talk of killing time while time quietly kills them. According to the Bible, we live our lives for a certain period of time – not a moment longer and not a moment shorter.84 comments
Prior to the cross, Jesus went to a garden called Gethsemane. There, as He faced the horrors of what was to come on the cross, He prayed, "Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from me."
Saul, later to become the apostle Paul, was doing the work of the kingdom before he was even in it. Had he not persecuted the church, I think the first-century Christians probably would have been content to stay in their little holy huddle in Jerusalem and never leave town. It was great, God had blessed, and there were believers all around. So who wanted to leave Jerusalem? But with Saul's persecution, the Christians were forced to spread out, and in the process, they took the gospel of Jesus Christ to the world.
Does it ever seem impossible to you that God could save certain people? Is there someone you know right now who is not a believer and, in fact, seems far from becoming one? Maybe it is almost laughable to envision this person carrying a Bible around and saying something like, "Praise the Lord!"
Every now and again, stories have appeared in the news about people who pose as physicians but actually are not licensed to practice medicine. Their actions can even sometimes prove fatal for the people they are supposed to be "treating."3 comments