Our Only and Best Hope

Saul. A hater of all things Christ and persecutor of His followers:

“I used to believe that I ought to do everything I could to oppose the very name of Jesus the Nazarene. Indeed, I did just that in Jerusalem. Authorized by the leading priests, I caused many believers there to be sent to prison. And I cast my vote against them when they were condemned to death. Many times I had them punished in the synagogues to get them to curse Jesus. I was so violently opposed to them that I even chased them down in foreign cities.” (Paul, Acts 26:9-11 NLT)

Jesus. Sovereign and able to use whomever He pleases to accomplish His plans:

“Now get up and stand on your feet. I have appeared to you to appoint you as a servant and as a witness of what you have seen and will see of me. I will rescue you from your own people and from the Gentiles. I am sending you to them to open their eyes and turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan to God, so that they may receive forgiveness of sins and a place among those who are sanctified by faith in me.” (Jesus, Acts 26:16-18 NIV)

Paul. Renamed by Jesus and bold proclaimer of his faith in Jesus Christ before King Agrippa:

Agrippa replied to Paul, “In a short time you will persuade me to become a Christian.” And Paul said, “I would wish to God, that whether in a short or long time, not only you, but also all who hear me this day, might become such as I am, except for these chains.” (Acts 26:28-29 NAS)

Aversion to and even hatred of Christ is all too prevalent today, but Paul’s life story should greatly encourage us as believers. God has always been in the business of changing hearts and so can change even the hardest heart of stone:

“Moreover, I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; and I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh.”
(Ezekiel 36:26 NAS)

Sovereign Lord, the hope we have in You is our only and best hope, for only You can change men’s hearts. We ask You to change the hearts of stone that are hostile toward You into hearts of flesh that are sensitive to Your Holy Spirit. We ask You to pour out Your Spirit on our land and bring a revival such has not been seen before. We ask these things in the almighty Name of the King of Kings, Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Janice Powell 2013

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