In Acts 9 we are given the story of the Saul’s conversion, who becomes Paul the apostle. We are told that he was so full of anger and rage against Christians that he “went to the high priest and asked him for letters to the synagogues at Damascus, so that if he found any belonging to the Way, men or women, he might bring them bound to Jerusalem.” Essentially, he obtained warrants for the arrest of any Christian he might find. Yet, while on the way to Damascus he is stopped by Christ on the road who says to him, “Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting me?” And he says to Jesus, “Who are you, Lord?” Then Jesus says, “I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting. But rise and enter the city, and you will be told what you are to do.” Later in the same chapter we read that Jesus then speaks to a man named Ananias and tells him to go and lay hands on Paul and pray for him. When Ananias is reluctant because of the rumors he has heard about Paul, God says to him, “Go, for he is a chosen instrument of mine to carry my name before the Gentiles and kings and the children of Israel” (9:15). What is so amazing about this story is that Paul was not looking for Jesus. Paul was not interested in learning more about Christianity. Yet, God stops him on the Damascus road and essentially says to him, ‘You! You are not only going to place faith in Christ as your Lord and Savior, but you are going to be my apostle to the Gentiles.’ There are multiple lessons we can learn from this event but one that is abundantly clear is that no one is beyond the reach of God’s grace. This should bring us all great encouragement and comfort as we pray for our friends and family that they might come to know Christ as their personal Lord and Savior. If you have been praying for the salvation of someone for years, keep praying. Don’t give up. If God can and was willing to save Paul, he can save anyone.
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