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Saul’s Conversion

Read Acts 9: 1-31

Pastor David Stoker

In Acts 9, something dramatic happened to a man named Saul. Saul was a menace to the
early church. In chapter 8, we read; “But Saul began ravaging the church, entering house after
house, and dragging off men and women, he would put them in prison.” Saul hated Jesus, he
hated Christians and he hated anything that had to do with Christianity. Because of his hatred,
he did everything within his power to destroy it. That was his intent as he obtained arrest
warrants and began his trip to Damascus to arrest Christians.

Little did he know that his entire life was about to change on the road to Damascus. As he
approached the city a brilliant light flashed all around him. Falling to the ground, he heard a
voice say, ‘Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting Me?’

The problem with Saul was that he had religion – but he didn’t have a relationship with
God. Saul was a Jew, and he didn’t recognize Jesus as the promised Messiah. He grew up in a
Pharisee’s home. He was taught the life of a Pharisee as a child. As he got older, he sat under
the teaching of Gamaliel, the most influential Jewish teacher of his day. It wasn’t long before
Saul knew all of the laws and ordinances of Judaism. There was one problem, Saul knew
Judaism, but he didn’t know God. That is the peril of an inherited religion.

It is important that we teach our children the fundamentals of Christianity. It is important that
we help them understand the morals and ethics that go with our faith. But it is essential that
we introduce our children to Jesus Christ. If our children grow up believing that Christianity
only means going to church every Sunday, learning all of the right songs, praying the right
prayers and standing for the right things, then we are failing as parents. If our children only
equate Christianity with being against abortion, premarital sex, drugs and alcohol, then
we have given them the wrong impression of our faith. We don’t want them to inherit our
religion; we want them to meet our Savior. Saul had a wonderful religion, but he missed
having a relationship with God through Jesus the Messiah.

Saul thought persecuting followers of Jesus was what he should do for God. Because
Christians were a threat to his beloved religion he felt he should destroy them. In the Old
Testament, God told Moses and Joshua to eliminate the pagan people in the Promised Land.
Saul thought the same should happen to Christians because they were polluting Judaism.
Therefore, his goal was to destroy Christianity.

In spite of his zeal he had to be blinded in order to discover that he was completely out of
God’s will. It was only in this place of humbling that he could hear the voice of Jesus calling
him and experience God’s forgiveness and grace.
DAY 76

Lord, correct us when we move ahead in our own will and not yours. We know You are the
way, the truth and the light. Surround us with your grace when we stray and use us for your
purposes. In Christ’s name, Amen.

What’s the difference between ‘having religion’ and ‘having a relationship with God?

Have you ever been busy doing God’s business, but not God’s will? How did that feel?

Does any particular verse (SCRIPTURE) in today’s reading speak to you?

OBSERVE what this verse is saying to you:

How can you APPLY this verse to your life today?

My PRAYER for today is: