12 I thank him who has given me strength, Christ Jesus our Lord, because he judged me faithful, appointing me to his service, 13 though formerly I was a blasphemer, persecutor, and insolent opponent. But I received mercy because I had acted ignorantly in unbelief, 14 and the grace of our Lord overflowed for me with the faith and love that are in Christ Jesus.
I am going to take a wild guess here and assume if you are reading this blog, then you are already a follower of Jesus. Since this goes out to the world wide web, a couple of you may stumble across this post and not be followers yet; but I am guessing most of you are Christians.
Am I right?
I’m also gonna make another wild guess and assume you know somebody that is as far away from Jesus as, well, the devil himself.
Yeah. Me too.
You know what’s funny? The guy writing the verses we look at every week on Tuesday – the guy who wrote half of the New Testament – Paul – he was ‘that guy.’ As a matter of fact, he was probably worse than that guy. Think it’s crazy? Look again in verse 13. Before Paul became Paul he was Saul. While he was Saul he hated all things Jesus. He blasphemed Jesus (said a lot of hateful and scandalous things about Him). He persecuted those who followed Jesus (beat up and killed a lot of Christians). And he violently opposed anyone and anything that tried to validate the reality of Jesus. Had you or I been alive during his time on earth we would have thought, “There ain’t no way Saul of Tarsus will ever change and follow Jesus.”
But we would have been wrong.
Know why ‘that guy’ acts like ‘that guy’? Because he doesn’t know any better. He’s acting in ignorance. Or, as we say here in the South – ignirtze. If he knew in his heart what you know in yours, he wouldn’t do what he’s doing.
Know what ‘that guy’ needs? A miraculous encounter with the all-powerful Lord of grace and love.
Maybe – just maybe – God put you in ‘that guy’s’ life in order for Him to execute this encounter. When was the last time you talked to ‘that guy’ about Jesus, rather than about him around others?
Wanna see God work in and around your life? Pray for ‘that guy.’ Then look for the opportunity to talk to him about Jesus. Who knows? He might become the one God uses to help us get the Gospel to all the people groups of the world.
Am I right?
Stranger things have happened.