When he had an encounter with Jesus, his life changed
Reference: While they were trying to kill him, news reached the commander of the Roman troops that the whole city of Jerusalem was in an uproar. (Acts 21:31 NIV)
Explore: I’m a big believer of standing up FOR something rather than AGAINST something.
There are many issues in our world that are being discussed at a political level as well as around the dining table in many homes. As Christians, who hold a firm belief in God, our faith helps us to shape our opinion on many of these topics.
However, it seems that, even though the second most important commandment given to us is to ‘love others’, our opinions can quickly turn to prejudice and isolation of a particular group of people. It’s in our sinful nature to protect ourselves and judge those we don’t know.
Application: Having read through the book of Acts, I have seen the transformation in Paul’s life. There is no doubt that he was religious and passionate all his life.
To begin with, his faith and passion led him to stand against certain people, in an effort to protect his beliefs, even to the point of killing others. However, when he had an encounter with Jesus, his life changed. He was just as passionate and certainly just as religious, however, instead of being against others, he was for them.
He was so intent on sharing the good news of Christ that he was willing to talk to anyone about Him. In the end, people were against Paul while Paul was for them.
Next time a particular issue comes up I wonder how quickly we will feel the need to protect ourselves against the opposition. Or will our encounter with Jesus make us more like Paul and we will find it in our hearts to be FOR the people, even if they are not living according to our interpretation of a blessed life.
Prayer: Lord, forgive us when we are quick to judge other people. May we take Your lead and learn to be FOR people, rather than against them. Amen.
Is there anyone you are against? How could your attitude change if you could find something about them that you could be FOR?
This article was written by Linda Bailey
Linda started theological studies in 1999 in Australia. After working for ten years in various church ministries, she now works as the breakfast producer at 89.9 LightFM - the Christian radio station in Melbourne, Australia. She writes blogs every day about passages she is currently reading in the Bible. Follow her on Google Plus +Linda Bailey or Facebook by clicking the like button on the right of this page.