Friday, September 16, 2011

God's Redeeming Grace

Our lives were created for a purpose and God wrote our story before the foundations of the earth were created. He knew from the beginning what paths our feet would take and what sins we would commit against Him. Take Saul (later called Paul) for example, he was so zealous for his Jewish beliefs that he set out to destroy Christianity. He was so intent on “opposing the name of Jesus of Nazareth” (Acts 26:9) that in “raging fury,” he breathed “threats and murder against the disciples of the Lord.” (Acts 26:1) Here was a man who truly hated Christ and all who were associated with Him, yet while traveling on the road to Damascus, pursuing Christians, he was confronted by Christ and brought face to face with the Good News. His encounter with Christ transformed him from being a persecutor of Christians to a believer and preacher in and for Christ. Paul went on to become a great missionary that wrote 13 (maybe 14 if he wrote Hebrews) books of the new testament.

Regardless of Paul's past persecution and murder of Christians, God used Paul to spread His Word. Not only did Paul preach God's word, but more convincing were his actions of a changed life. I love this poem by Heinrich Kopka that captures the essence of who Paul had become with Christ by his side:

"I'd Rather See a Sermon" by Heinrich Kopka

I'd rather see a sermon than hear one any day.
I'd rather you walk with me than merely point the way.
The eye is a more ready pupil than ever was the ear.
Good advice is often confusing, but example is always clear.

Paul says,"You yourselves are our letter, written on our hearts, known and read by everybody" (2 Corinthians 2:3). The Lord already knew what your "letter" would look like, for it was written long ago.

It seems that our life is a written "letter" and a testimony seen by other believers. It doesn't matter what was written down in the past, but change your ways so that God's redeeming grace may write your present and future "letters." Bring others to know Christ by the power of your testimony that led you to Him. Walk the walk instead of "merely pointing the way."

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