My Faith Story in 100 Words: Saul

Acts 9:1-19

Meanwhile Saul, still breathing threats and murder against the disciples of the Lord, went to the high priest 2and asked him for letters to the synagogues at Damascus, so that if he found any who belonged to the Way, men or women, he might bring them bound to Jerusalem. 3Now as he was going along and approaching Damascus, suddenly a light from heaven flashed around him. 4He fell to the ground and heard a voice saying to him, ‘Saul, Saul, why do you persecute me?’ 5He asked, ‘Who are you, Lord?’ The reply came, ‘I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting.6But get up and enter the city, and you will be told what you are to do.’7The men who were travelling with him stood speechless because they heard the voice but saw no one. 8Saul got up from the ground, and though his eyes were open, he could see nothing; so they led him by the hand and brought him into Damascus. 9For three days he was without sight, and neither ate nor drank.

10 Now there was a disciple in Damascus named Ananias. The Lord said to him in a vision, ‘Ananias.’ He answered, ‘Here I am, Lord.’ 11The Lord said to him, ‘Get up and go to the street called Straight, and at the house of Judas look for a man of Tarsus named Saul. At this moment he is praying, 12and he has seen in a vision a man named Ananias come in and lay his hands on him so that he might regain his sight.’ 13But Ananias answered, ‘Lord, I have heard from many about this man, how much evil he has done to your saints in Jerusalem; 14and here he has authority from the chief priests to bind all who invoke your name.’ 15But the Lord said to him, ‘Go, for he is an instrument whom I have chosen to bring my name before Gentiles and kings and before the people of Israel; 16I myself will show him how much he must suffer for the sake of my name.’17So Ananias went and entered the house. He laid his hands on Saul and said, ‘Brother Saul, the Lord Jesus, who appeared to you on your way here, has sent me so that you may regain your sight and be filled with the Holy Spirit.’ 18And immediately something like scales fell from his eyes, and his sight was restored. Then he got up and was baptized, 19and after taking some food, he regained his strength.

Some people, like Paul, have dramatic stories of how God broke in to change their lives.

Their faith stories remind us that God is full of surprises.

But as we’ve seen in our series, Damascus Road experiences are not the norm. God works in people’s lives in a variety of different ways—sometimes dramatically, but often times, less so.

Not everyone has a Damascus Road kind of experience. Maybe some people do because God needs to get their attention in a dramatic way. Without some drama—like a blinding light—they wouldn’t ever notice God.

But others of us have been nurtured in the faith for a long time—maybe since childhood. We don’t need a dramatic event to get our attention. God already has our attention. All we need is for our faith to grow over time.

But here’s one thing about faith stories I don’t want you to miss: However it is that God has worked in your life, God has a purpose for each one of you.

When Ananias is instructed by the Lord to lay hands on and speak to the blinded Saul, God says, “[Saul] is an instrument whom I have chosen to bring my name before Gentiles, and kings and before the people of Israel.”

God had a purpose for Saul—he was to proclaim the Gospel to Gentiles, kings and the people of Israel.

While Saul’s conversion was dramatic and memorable, there was far more to his story. His conversion was just the beginning.

However God has worked in your life—dramatically or less so—God has a purpose for your life that continues to unfold. Your 100 Word faith story is just the beginning.

To what purpose has God called you?

The answer to that question goes far beyond 100 words.

The answer to that question takes you through the rest of your life.

Amen.

 

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