The Apostle Paul is possibly one of the most influential people in the New Testament. What is remarkable about Paul is that he was not always passionate about spreading the message of Christ, but instead he zealously persecuted the early Christian Church in hopes of crushing the message they preached. It is this transformation that makes Paul’s journey so incredible.
Before Paul has his conversion experience, he is on a road to the city of Damascus. He has no idea that his life is about to forever change. Paul gets on the road as a person opposed to the way of Jesus, but by the end of his journey along this road he will leave as a person in passionate pursuit of Jesus. Who in your own life is currently walking along the road?
Meanwhile, Saul was still breathing out murderous threats against the Lord’s disciples. He went to the high priest and asked him for letters to the synagogues in Damascus, so that if he found any there who belonged to the Way, whether men or women, he might take them as prisoners to Jerusalem – Acts 9:1-2
As Paul is walking along the road everything changes. He has a life-altering encounter with Christ.
As he neared Damascus on his journey, suddenly a light from heaven flashed around him. He fell to the ground and heard a voice say to him, “Saul, Saul, why do you persecute me?” – Acts 9:3-4
When Paul encounters Jesus his life is sent in a new trajectory. The once Christian murderer has no been transformed into a church planter because he met Jesus. Isn’t that the goal of the Christian faith, that people wherever they are in their journey would encounter Christ and have their lives changed because of it? When in your life have encountered Christ?
After Paul has his life-changing encounter, he actually begins to live out his new faith. It would be easy for Paul to sit and rejoice in his new found faith. It would be easy for Paul to relunctanctly hold back from sharing the gospel, since he is ridden with the guilt of hurting so many people. But Paul doesn’t hold onto the things that might hold him back from living out his faith and instead he goes from city to city sharing his faith, often risking his life in order to do so.
After many days had gone by, there was a conspiracy among the Jews to kill him, but Saul learned of their plan. Day and night they kept close watch on the city gates in order to kill him. But his followers took him by night and lowered him in a basket through an opening in the wall. Acts 9:23-25