Romans 1:1 (CSB) Paul, a servant of Christ Jesus, called as an apostle and set apart for the gospel of God
The Damascus Road
Acts 9:1-25 (CSB) Now Saul was still breathing threats and murder against the disciples of the Lord. He went to the high priest and requested letters from him to the synagogues in Damascus, so that if he found any men or women who belonged to the Way, he might bring them as prisoners to Jerusalem. As he traveled and was nearing Damascus, a light from heaven suddenly flashed around him. Falling to the ground, he heard a voice saying to him, “Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting me?”
“Who are you, Lord?” Saul said. “I am Jesus, the one you are persecuting,” he replied. “But get up and go into the city, and you will be told what you must do.”
The men who were traveling with him stood speechless, hearing the sound but seeing no one. Saul got up from the ground, and though his eyes were open, he could see nothing. So they took him by the hand and led him into Damascus. He was unable to see for three days and did not eat or drink.
There was a disciple in Damascus named Ananias, and the Lord said to him in a vision, “Ananias.” “Here I am, Lord,” he replied. “Get up and go to the street called Straight,” the Lord said to him, “to the house of Judas, and ask for a man from Tarsus named Saul, since he is praying there. In a vision he has seen a man named Ananias coming in and placing his hands on him so that he may regain his sight.”
“Lord,” Ananias answered, “I have heard from many people about this man, how much harm he has done to your saints in Jerusalem. And he has authority here from the chief priests to arrest all who call on your name.”
But the Lord said to him, “Go, for this man is my chosen instrument to take my name to Gentiles, kings, and Israelites. I will show him how much he must suffer for my name.”
Ananias went and entered the house. He placed his hands on him and said, “Brother Saul, the Lord Jesus, who appeared to you on the road you were traveling, has sent me so that you may regain your sight and be filled with the Holy Spirit.”
At once something like scales fell from his eyes, and he regained his sight. Then he got up and was baptized. And after taking some food, he regained his strength.
Saul Proclaiming the Messiah
Saul was with the disciples in Damascus for some time. Immediately he began proclaiming Jesus in the synagogues: “He is the Son of God.”
All who heard him were astounded and said, “Isn’t this the man in Jerusalem who was causing havoc for those who called on this name and came here for the purpose of taking them as prisoners to the chief priests?”
But Saul grew stronger and kept confounding the Jews who lived in Damascus by proving that Jesus is the Messiah.
After many days had passed, the Jews conspired to kill him, but Saul learned of their plot. So they were watching the gates day and night intending to kill him, but his disciples took him by night and lowered him in a large basket through an opening in the wall.
Just from the life of Saul, who then became Paul, what do we know about God?
God will save whom he will save.
Romans 9:15–16 (CSB) For he tells Moses, I will show mercy to whom I will show mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion. So then, it does not depend on human will or effort but on God who shows mercy.
John 1:12–13 (CSB) But to all who did receive him, he gave them the right to be children of God, to those who believe in his name, who were born, not of natural descent, or of the will of the flesh, or of the will of man, but of God.
Ephesians 1:5 (CSB) He predestined us to be adopted as sons through Jesus Christ for himself, according to the good pleasure of his will,
The good news is this: that there is nothing that you could have ever done or will ever do that will keep you from be saved by God for God from God unto God.
Make no mistake: without a faith in Christ Jesus as your Lord and Savior, you will not be saved. At the exact same time, salvation is not dependent on you but Him. This is grace.
Ephesians 2:8–9 (CSB) For you are saved by grace through faith, and this is not from yourselves; it is God’s gift— not from works, so that no one can boast.
If you are listening to the podcast, let it be known that God has made the call to you. Right now, He is extending his hand out and asking you to trust in Him. He is asking you to trust in Him and take him at his word.
Don’t wait another second.
“But, I have to clean myself before I can go to God.” - That’s crap. For “All of have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God."1
“But, can’t I just wait until I am on my deathbed to believe in God?” Simply stating a fact and living that fact out are two different things. For God numbers our days:
Psalm 139:16 (CSB) Your eyes saw me when I was formless; all my days were written in your book and planned before a single one of them began.
And we do not know how are lives will be and even less on how we will die.
But can I tell you something: for all the testimonies I have ever heard, I have yet to find one testimony from someone who was saved later on in life that they were glad to have met God so late in life. Ever single of these saints, with hearts regenerated by God himself, full of faith, and finally alive would easily proclaim, “If I had one wish, I wish I would have known God for all of my life.”
My friends, God is not a “Escape From Hell” fire insurance card that you keep in your back pocket in case of emergency. The best and distinctly description I would have of God would be this:
Psalms 16:11 (ESV)
You make known to me the path of life;
in your presence there is fullness of joy;
at your right hand are pleasures forevermore.
Don’t be insane. Choose real life, fullness of joy and pleasures forevermore. Trust in God. Your circumstances might not change. God does not promise that. You might have to go through a lot of healing of your mind and heart. Hey, God promises that we will be conformed to the image of His Son. Trust in him. Don’t wait. Right now. Trust in him.
Do what you need to do in order for us to trust in you alone. Swap my heart for yours. Give me your Spirit. Make your home in me. Make me look like your Son. Give me repentance. Give me your power to murder my sin. Amen.
Romans 3:23 ↩︎