13 Jun 2018
Do You Still Have a Passion for the Lost?
Acts 9:1 says:
“Then Saul, still breathing threats and murder against the disciples of the Lord, went to the high priest.”
What do we know about Saul of the New Testament? What do we know of his early life that shaped him into who he became? We know his father was a Pharisee and his mother was a Jewess. He was educated and trained under Gamaliel, according to the strict teachings of the law (see Acts 22:3). He was circumcised on the eighth day and was part of the tribe of Benjamin (see Philippians 3:5).
Many scholars believe Saul’s father held Roman citizenship, and that Saul was brought up in a devout Jewish home that followed the scriptures. He loved God and was totally convinced this new ‘sect’ – the believers of ‘the Way’ – were brainwashing people with the notion that a man could die and rise again.
He was distraught that people were leaving the faith of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, and turning their backs on his God. He decided to take action, so he put all his energy into wiping these people out. It was a defence of his God; a means of protecting the honour of His name.
But then Jesus met Saul on the road to Damascus. He saw a bright light and fell off his horse. Jesus talked to him and Saul answered with, “Who are You, Lord?”and “Lord, what do You want me to do?” (see Acts 9:5-6). This was total surrender. He had met the risen Lord.
Pause and reflect: A total transformation took place in Saul (who was renamed Paul). He was redeemed, and there was burning passion inside him to win souls for God’s kingdom. This passion never left him, despite the many hardships he had to endure. Do you still have this passion for the lost?