My reflections on the life of Saul who became Paul, the greatest missionary ever of the early Christian church rise once again to the surface as I reflect on the recent terrorist acts and martyrdom of my Egyptian Christian brothers now revealing their graphic and very brutal deaths.
The Message writes about Ananias who had a vision from the Master, Acts 9:13-14 Ananias protested, “Master, you can’t be serious. Everybody’s talking about this man and the terrible things he’s been doing, his reign of terror against your people in Jerusalem! And now he’s shown up here with papers from the Chief Priest that give him license to do the same to us.”
Saul was the most feared terrorist of Christians in those early days and Jesus Christ showed up and stopped him dead in his tracks. He was blinded by the light of the glorious Gospel and it changed him forever. He had a visitation in a moment that changed the course of his life forever. Once a man so bent on eradicating the people of the Cross, he became the greatest proponent of the Way. God saw his radical commitment to faith and turned what once hatred for everything Jesus and put a burning passion in Him for a new way of obtaining righteousness. He went through a name change and Saul who now became Paul was ready to go to hell if it meant more people could experience life with Christ. He was radical for what he believed to be the pure and holy way of truth through Judaism and it’s laws to being radical to justification by faith alone in the finished work of Jesus Christ.
I can’t help but echo the prayer that was recently portrayed by video from the “People of the Cross’
and pray that God will reveal Himself in such powerful ways that they will not be able to deny the vision and the revelation that they will receive to turn the most radically opposed to Jesus into His greatest followers.
God can change people in a moment of breakthrough. We must pray for radical revelation and it has been so awesome to see it happen with people who attend church at the Manor. God has turned the life of people who many would think were the farthest from the gospel and they now are baptized and followers of Jesus. They share with us of radical revelation and angelic visits, God revealing to them how He was with them through some of the most brutal times of their growing up years.
They have amazing joy, they make us laugh and they are simply amazing. It is a joy to journey with them. We just celebrated Bobby's baptism on Sunday April 19th at www.ercf.ca