23 They only were hearing it said, “He who used to persecute us is now preaching the faith he once tried to destroy.” 24 And they glorified God because of me.
Saul/Paul was well-known for persecuting the church.He was well-known and ruthless at it. He was there when they killed the Stephen and gave his full approval (Acts 8:1). Those who were in the church at the time feared him Acts, (9:26) however, among the Jews he was respected, prosperous, and successful…
13 For you have heard of my former conduct in Judaism, how I persecuted the church of God beyond measure and tried to destroy it. 14 And I advanced in Judaism beyond many of my contemporaries in my own nation, being more exceedingly zealous for the traditions of my fathers.
…until his encounter with Jesus on his way to Damascus to further persecute the church (Acts 9).
Jesus changed his heart and his mission. God gave Him the gospel…A man who killed Christians! God gave him a special mission only he could accomplish. His name was changed from Saul to Paul and his passion against the church was redirected. There were people who NEEDED to see HIM work for Christ, needed to hear it from him. Not Peter James or John, but Paul. Be sensitive to where and who God sends you. There are people strategically placed in your path who need to hear YOU speak for Christ…see YOU work for Christ and share His love. Not me…Not your Pastor…Not Bishop TD Jakes, but YOU. They knew who you were. They knew how you were. They know what you used to do. They heard how you were. Even if they don’t know you, they may be able to connect with you because of your past…That’s ministry!
So, no matter how DARK your past, God can use it for His glory if you let Him…
15 But when it pleased God, who separated me from my mother’s womb and called me through His grace, 16 to reveal His Son in me, that I might preach Him among the Gentiles, I did not immediately confer with flesh and blood, 17 nor did I go up to Jerusalem to those who were apostles before me; but I went to Arabia, and returned again to Damascus.
There’s someone who needs to see the change that God made in your life, and your love and passion for Him, and just as they did Paul, they will glorify God in you (Galatians 1:24).