13 You have heard of my earlier way of life as a Jew. With all my strength I attacked the church of God. I tried to destroy it. 14 I was moving ahead in my Jewish way of life. I went beyond many Jews who were my own age. I held firmly to the teachings passed down by my people. 15 But God set me apart from the time I was born. He showed me his grace by appointing me. He was pleased 16 to show his Son in my life. He wanted me to preach about Jesus among those who aren’t Jews. When God appointed me, I didn’t talk to anyone. 17 I didn’t go up to Jerusalem to see those who were apostles before I was. Instead, I went at once into Arabia. Later I returned to Damascus. 18 Then after three years I went up to Jerusalem. I went there to get to know Peter. I stayed with him for 15 days. 19 I didn’t see any of the other apostles. I only saw James, the Lord’s brother. 20 Here is what you can be sure of. And God gives witness to it. What I am writing you is not a lie. 21 Later I went to Syria and Cilicia. 22 The members of Christ’s churches in Judea did not know me in a personal way. 23 They only heard others say, “The man who used to attack us has changed. He is now preaching the faith he once tried to destroy.” 24 And they praised God because of me.
v1 “you know what I was like…”
This is a great “before and after” Jesus story. Paul is a changed man. Before Christ he persecuted the church, after Christ he discovered Jesus had a plan to use him to preach “the very faith he tried to destroy”. The evidence of his faith is in his changed life.
My life is changed and being changed by Jesus. After being at the “Following Jesus, Fishing for people” course this week, I am reflecting on how following Jesus has changed my life. I need to be able to tell others what is different in my life because of Christ. I want to be able to share the good things that knowing, loving and trusting Jesus brings to my life. Hope when things seem hopeless, peace when the storm is raging, direction when I don’t know where to go, a community of faith to belong to and love and be loved by.
Thank you for changing my life in so many ways Jesus. As I reflect on what you have done and continue to do in me – show me the parts of “our” story that will help my friends see you.
Written by Ps. Linda Quinn