ON THE JOURNEY

JACKIE TAYLOR, ASSOCIATE PASTOR

I don’t know about you, but I absolutely love transformation stories.  I don’t care whether it is a house that’s been remodeled or if someone has lost 100 pounds, I am absolutely addicted!  I think it’s the sense of hope it gives me to watch such a huge goal achieved.  It is instantly gratifying to look at the before picture in all its terrible glory and then to see the amazing, and most of the time, utterly unrecognizable after picture.  I’d like to share with you the most amazing transformation you’ve never seen.

 

The Apostle Paul is responsible for writing over a quarter of the New Testament of the Bible.  It is impossible to know the full extent of the impact that Paul had in spreading the message about all that Jesus did and who He was.  His life and legacy have helped shape nearly every Christian in history.  Who is this man that God gave this extraordinary mission to?  Was he included in Jesus’ inner circle of closest friends?  No.  Was he a disciple of Jesus during His earthly ministry?  Again, no.  Not even close.  That is what makes this the greatest, most amazing transformation you’ve never seen.

 

Paul, formerly known as Saul, was a Pharisee.  This was the type of religious elite that Jesus so often railed against during His earthly ministry.  Pharisees tended to be self-righteous, only pretending to uphold God’s laws and instead burdening others with impossible standards that could not be lived up to.  They took advantage of others.  And Saul was a Pharisee of all Pharisees.

 

In fact, Saul was in the business of killing Christians.  He was on his way to track down Christ followers to have them thrown into prison when he met Jesus in a breath-taking, life-altering, history-making moment.  Saul was on the road to Damascus when a blinding light appeared, and the resurrected Jesus spoke directly to him.  From that moment on, Saul was a changed man.  He went from Christian killer, to one who would himself suffer and die for his belief in Jesus.  We still look to Paul’s letters and teachings to know how to live in our modern world as a dedicated Christ follower.


If you ever think you are too far gone, that there is nothing good in you for God to use, just look at Paul.  Paul was arguably one of the worst Pharisees in history, but God STILL used him.  A willing heart is all God needs to change your story.  You may never know the full impact of your life, as I am sure Paul didn’t, but have faith that God can and is using you in an immense way.

 

-Jackie