Friday, April 11, 2014

Saul became Paul #TransformationTuesday #SheSharesTruth

This is the last #SheSharesTruth devotion, but do not fear, I will plan on posting once a week a devotion based on a scripture and topic of my own! Also, yesterday was my birthday and I wrote a little post on that!  Today's devotion is on 1 Corinthians 2:1-5.  Take a minute to read it over:

"And so it was with me, brothers and sisters.  When I came to you, I did not come with eloquence or human wisdom as I proclaimed to you the testimony about God.  For I resolved to know nothing while I was with you except Jesus Christ and him crucified.  I came to you in weakness with great fear and trembling.  My message and my preaching were not with wise and persuasive words, but with a demonstration of the Spirit's power, so that your faith might not rest on human wisdom, but on God's power." 1 Corinthians 2: 1-5

The author of 1 Corinthians is the topic today.  The apostle Paul wrote the books of Romans, 1&2 Corinthians, Galatians, Ephesians, Philippians, Colossians, 1&2 Thessalonians, 1&2 Timothy, Titus, Philemon, and part of Hebrews: 14 books!!  This is the first time that I actually counted the amount of books and that is a major chunk of the New Testament!  God used him to impact much of the Gentile world and bring them The Good News of Jesus.  However, the beginning of his life was much different.

I enjoy studying Paul's life because it has a certain familiar feel to my life and transformation.  Before Paul was a missionary, he was a mercenary named Saul.  He was a Jewish Leader persecuting followers of Jesus (Acts 8).  He hadn't accepted Jesus' ministry until he came face to face with The Savior.  Saul was on a journey to find even more people to imprison when Jesus (His resurrection Self) met him on the road.  Jesus instructed Saul to go into town (Damascus, the same place he was heading) and The Lord temporarily blinded him.  A man named Ananias (reluctant at first because of Saul's reputation) found Saul and restored his sight so that he could "be filled with the Holy Spirit" (Acts 9.1-19).  Have you being going somewhere and Jesus stopped you in your tracks? Did you answer His call immediately like Saul?

The next part is amazing too, Saul began to preach!  The Holy Spirit guided him to talk about his conversion.  Many were in awe because they knew of his past and others were trying to kill him.  I think this is still the common response when someone has drastically changed their life and committed to Jesus.  Although often times I  never found anyone plotting to kill me specifically because of my faith but there were people who didn't want to have anything to do with me after I became a Christian so basically they killed our friendship.  

Saul transformed to Paul (a Greek name) as he began his ministry to the gentiles in the Mediterranean area.  I found this map that shows how far he traveled:
This website has some other great maps from Paul's journeys!

Many of the books he wrote were actually letters to the cities or regions he visited to encourage and check up on them.  Isn't that awesome that he went to them, shared The Good News and continued to follow up with them! We can use that as an example because we should reach out to others, go to where they are (physically and emotionally), share Jesus with them (directly or indirectly by just loving them) and follow up to continue to encourage them.  I know after digging a little deeper into Paul's life and ministry, I will use the three-step process in my ministry.  

Overall it's amazing to see how God uses imperfect people in His Perfect Plan.  Here we have the last person you would believe to be used for The Kingdom, he meets Jesus and changes his entire life and becomes one of the most influential missionaries in history! That gives me such hope because I know God could transform Paul's life, so He can also transform mine.  I wasn't a mercenary physically killing people but I know I have said my fair share of hurtful comments that cut people down in my life before Christ.  How many people have we seen in the Bible who drop everything to follow Jesus, quite a few!  So if He's asking you to follow Him, why are you waiting??? You can see the many blessings He poured out onto His disciples and followers, and He wants to do the same with you!  So say yes and start that wonderful relationship with your Lord and Savior that He (and you!) so desires!!!!

Overall how is God transforming you? Do you have an amazing transformation story like Paul? I would love to hear it so drop a comment below! Also if there are any topics or scriptures that you want to see here, let me know!


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