Bible Passage for Meditation: Acts 22:1-16
Key Verse: “And he said, The God of our fathers hath chosen thee, that thou shouldest know his will, and see that Just One, and shouldest hear the voice of his mouth.” Acts. 22:14
We all know the story. Saul was a great persecutor of Christians, putting many to death. However, one day everything changed. One day He met Jesus and, as a result, became one of Christ’ most devoted followers, bringing healing and hope where before he had brought death and suffering.
I have read this story many times, and not until just recently—literally today—had I thought about how this story has a lesson for my own life.
No, I haven’t put Christians to death as Saul did, but I have been proud and judgmental and wounded my fellow brothers and sisters in many other ways. I’ve spoken words of criticism when I should have remained silent and prayed. I’ve been harsh and condemning when I should have had empathy and love. I’ve torn down when I should have built up. These sins in God’s eyes are no less sinful than Saul’s.
Thankfully, despite all that I’ve done, I hear God’s voice calling me. He’s calling you as well. He’s telling us, “The God of our fathers has chosen you for a special purpose. He has a higher calling for your life. In the past you’ve been used of the enemy to tear down and destroy, but now God wants to use you to build up and to bring healing.”
But how are we to change? How are we to go from being a Saul to being a Paul?
Ellen White writes, “No outward observances can take the place of simple faith and entire renunciation of self. But no man can empty himself of self. We can only consent for Christ to accomplish the work” (Christ’s Object Lessons, p. 159).
And so, my prayer echoes the words of Inspiration:
“Lord, take my heart; for I cannot give it. It is Thy property. Keep it pure, for I cannot keep it for Thee. Save me in spite of myself, my weak, unchristlike self. Mold me, fashion me, raise me into a pure and holy atmosphere, where the rich current of Thy love can flow through my soul” (Christ’s Object Lessons, p. 159).
Ellen White continues: “It is not only at the beginning of the Christian life that this renunciation of self is to be made. At every advance step heavenward it is to be renewed. All our good works are dependent on a power outside of ourselves. Therefore there needs to be a continual reaching out of the heart after God, a continual, earnest, heartbreaking confession of sin and humbling of the soul before Him. Only by constant renunciation of self and dependence on Christ can we walk safely” (Christ’s Object Lessons, pp. 159, 160).
So what will I do from this day forward? What will you do? Jesus Himself is asking us this very question. He is commissioning you and me to follow Him. He wants to take us from being a Saul to being a Paul. Will we respond to His call?
Heart Prayer Challenge:
Gracious Father, Thank You for loving us so much that You sent Jesus to die for our sins. We admit that even as Christians, we have too often been like Saul, tearing down and persecuting our fellow Christian brothers and sisters. Please change our hearts. We surrender our lives to You now, Father. As we continue praying for our church, show us how to be the witnesses You’ve called us to be to those around us—to those right next door, to those next to us in our church pew, and, most importantly, to those in our own homes. This isn’t easy, but You can change us. Take us, mold us, and make us into vessels who will serve You and bring glory to Your name. In Jesus’ name we pray, Amen.
By Kat Taylor
(Kat works full time for a government agency in Kansas, but her real heart and passion is in ministry. She is a prayer leader as well as a member of the 100 Days of Prayer leadership team. To read more of Kat’s personal testimony, CLICK HERE.)