We all love good redemption story. The addict who was freed from bondage and is now a servant to The Lord, not drugs and pornography. The murderer of innocent people, turned radical disciple.
Who’s the most fascinating person in the Bible to you? For me, it’s the apostle Paul.
Paul is responsible for 13 out of the 27 New Testament books of the Bible. However, he never thought that’s what his life would come to.
Paul was a man who absolutely hated Christians (Galatians 1:13,14). He did not just dislike them; he wanted them dead.
Remember, Stephan, the first recorded martyr in the New Testament? Paul, or should I say Saul, was responsible for his deadly stoning (Acts 8:1). Paul relentlessly persecuted Christians in order to prevent the Church from advancing.
Paul was ardent in all he did. He was an ardent persecutor of Christians, and then he became an ardent evangelist advancing the body of Christ.
Saul went from one extreme to another in a matter of 19 verses. Acts 9:1 informs us that Saul was still breathing threats and murder against the disciples of the Lord right before his conversion.
Acts 9 : 20 says, “And immediately he proclaimed Jesus in the synagogues, saying, “He is the Son of God.”
From the time that Paul was being formed in his mother’s womb, God had his personality fashioned. Paul was going to have a strong, brave, intense, and passionate personality. He was given this personality ON purpose, FOR a grand purpose.
Saul always had a strong personality, which probably got him into trouble. I have no doubt that Saul offended people with his intense personality. I imagine that he hated that at times.
Acceptance or Exclusion
When I was growing up, I was always deemed the loud one. I have a loud voice and an incredibly loud and unique laugh. I recall people saying, "I thought that was you over there. I could hear you laughing!" More times than not, the comments were accompanied with a condescending tone and fake grin. I quickly learned that my loud personality was not appreciated or accepted by many.
Anything different in society will always be rejected. It’s one thing when you chose that which sets you apart, like getting tattoos and dread-locks. But when the very way God designed you sets you apart, you feel like an outcast.
The story of Paul encourages me to embrace who I have been designed to be. Without Paul’s intensely passionate personality, he would not have been able to accomplish all God had planned for him. God’s plan for Paul, to be one of the most zealous evangelists recorded, required him to have the personality that he did.
My personality is unique to me and essential to accomplishing God’s will for my life. Scripture tells me not told to doubt myself, but to trust in Him and my calling. I already possess the Holy Spirit, therefore I am ready, qualified, and equipped with what I need, to achieve what He asks me to.
See You In The Round!
“Scripture quotations are from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version® (ESV®), copyright © 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved."