Friday, March 31, 2017

Acts 8:1-3

Acts 8:1-3
English Standard Version (ESV) 

  It's so easy to look back at Saul's life and be grateful for the way God used him, to speak lightly of the amazing conversion that took place in his life.
  But imagine being in that time and place -- imagine being a Christian and thinking about what you might think of Saul.  At best, you had an intense dislike of his presence, of his reputation.  At worst, you hated him for who he was and what he threatened of the church.  You were scared of him and you despised him.  Imagine praying for this enemy of the church!  Imagine hoping for the best -- it would be nearly impossible to imagine how God might use him for the betterment of the church.  You would just be hoping the church survived his persecution!!
  So it's interesting to think about placing ourselves in that mindset today when we think about our enemies, whether we think of personal enemies or enemies of the church.  God isn't finished with them, no more than God is finished with us.  God can use anyone for the proclamation of the Gospel, and the Holy Spirit can and will use all of us.  Don't lock yourself into a mindset about anyone -- God can change people, including us.  It may not seem obvious at the time, and it certainly isn't easy, but may we have the humility to pray for God to be at work in everyone, no matter how much or how little we may love them, that the work of the Holy Spirit may go boldly forward and continue to build Christ's church here on earth.

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