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02/09/20 - From Saul to Paul - Acts 8:1-19

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Not all "coming to faith" stories are the same. Some are gradual and some are rapid. The phrase “Damascus Road experience” is used to describe a conversion which is dramatic and startling. It was a man named Saul (you might know him better as the Apostle Paul) who experienced Christ in a life-changing, instantaneous experience, although many others describe their conversion as more of a process in understanding the truth of the gospel of Jesus Christ. But both types of experiences have several things in common. First, salvation is of the Lord, by His will and according to His plan and purpose. As He does one way or another to each of us, Jesus made it clear to Saul that he had gone his own way for long enough. Previously Saul believed heaven was a reward for “good” people and then he discovered that heaven is for people who know Jesus. Now he is an instrument in the hands of the one who died for him.There’s another commonality in Saul’s conversion. One that Saul expressed himself: “What do you want me to do?” Saul didn’t try to bargain, negotiate, question, or come halfway. His response like ours is to be one of obedience. When God truly touches our hearts, our only response can be, “Lord, may your will be done and may you use me to do it.” Such was the experience of Saul on the Damascus Road.Not everyone accepted Saul’s conversion. Some believed in his past and not his future. But that was about to change. Saul knew that his past did not have to determine his future. Therefore, his dramatic conversion on the road to Damascus was the beginning of an incredible journey. And while not all conversions are as startling as Saul’s, each of us is commissioned by Jesus to live in obedience to Him, love one another in His name, and tell the world of the wonderful riches in Christ! Who is your 1 and what is your next step in obedience?