At midday, O king, I saw in the way a light from heaven, above the brightness of the sun, shining round about me and them which journeyed with me. And when we were all fallen to the earth, I heard a voice speaking unto me, and saying in the Hebrew tongue, Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou me? it is hard for thee to kick against the pricks. And I said, Who art thou, LORD? And he said, I AM JESUS whom thou persecutest. But rise, and stand upon thy feet: for I have appeared unto thee for this purpose, to make thee A MINISTER and A WITNESS both of these things which thou hast seen, and of those things in the which I will appear unto thee; Delivering thee from the people, and from the Gentiles, unto whom now I send thee, To OPEN THEIR EYES, and to turn them from DARKNESS TO LIGHT, and from the POWER OF SATAN unto GOD, that they may receive FORGIVENESS OF SINS, and inheritance among them which are sanctified BY FAITH that is IN ME. (Acts 26:13-18)
If they have celestial DVD players in heaven one of the first discs that I would like to play is the scene where that murderous tyrant Saul was confronted by the Lord Jesus Christ from Heaven above. In the passage above Paul [formerly Saul] is testifying about his salvation experience before King Agrippa. Paul told Agrippa that there was a light from heaven which was even brighter than the sun at midday. Folks the sun in the middle of the day is extremely bright, and you cannot look directly into it without having to cover you eyes. So this must have been an incredibly bright light which Paul saw that day.
The passage then tells us that Paul heard the Lord talking in the Hebrew language, asking why he was persecuting Him. I don’t know about you, but if I was on a continual mission of persecuting and murdering believers in Jesus Christ, as Paul was, I would have been amazed that I was even alive at that point! Incredibly the Lord then goes on to tell Paul about the plans that he has for him regarding ministry.
This is one of the most powerful passages in the entire Word of God. The Lord told Paul that he would be a minister and a witness, speaking about the very things which were happening to him right then and there and other things also. Paul was called to preach this awesome Gospel of Jesus Christ mainly to the Gentiles [though he preached to the Jews also] and it was for this purpose:
1] To open their [spiritual] eyes.
2] To turn them from darkness [spiritual] to light [spiritual].
3] To turn them from the power of Satan unto God.
4] So that they may receive forgiveness of sins, and inheritance through faith in Jesus Christ.
That is the very center of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, and that is the message for all mankind. This man Paul truly appreciated his salvation in CHRIST and this is what he said in one of his letters:
This is a faithful saying, and worthy of ALL acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into the world to SAVE SINNERS; of whom I AM CHIEF. Howbeit for this cause I obtained MERCY, that IN ME FIRST Jesus Christ might shew forth all longsuffering, for A PATTERN to them which should hereafter believe on him to LIFE EVERLASTING. (1 Timothy 1:15-16)
That passage of scripture should put great hope in anybody’s heart. If the Lord can show mercy to a murderous tyrant such as Paul then that means that there is also hope for the rest of us wretches. Does that mean that there is hope for people who have committed murder? Absolutely yes! In fact that is the main reason why I do not believe in capital punishment. I know that the mercy and grace of God knows no boundaries. Each and every one of us who truly knows the Lord realizes that we deserved nothing but the wrath of God but have received His mercy instead.
For ALL have sinned, and come short of the glory of God; (Romans 3:23)
For the wages of sin is DEATH; but the GIFT OF GOD is ETERNAL LIFE through JESUS CHRIST our LORD. (Romans 6:23)
Word For Today
Receive salvation, and go tell others about the mercy that God offers them in Jesus Christ!
YES, God can, and will use you too!