So as I’m sure most of you have noticed, I’ve been out of pocket for about a week. Well, that’s because I’ve been sick. I know! Actually sick. Fever, cough, runny nose…the works. I was pretty miserable, and couldn’t seem to find a brain cell within about a mile of me in order to actually write a post for all of you. I do hope you forgive my absence 🙂
But let’s get into it. My previous post (you can find it here) talked about people in the bible who had to start over. I mentioned that I’m in the process of looking for a new day job, which is definitely starting over.
My favorite out of that list is definitely Paul. He had probably the most dramatic change of all, so I thought I would go a little more in depth into his story. No one is perfect, least of all Paul, and yet he was the author of most of the books in the bible, and had one of the strongest relationships with God that I’ve ever read about.
Let’s start at the beginning. Saul was a Pharisee. What was he in charge of? Killing Christians. That’s right. He stood right there and put his seal of approval on the stoning of Stephen. Christians went against everything the Pharisees believed, because they believe that the Grace of God is what saves us from Hell, not our works. They accepted Jesus as the Son of God, and the Lamb that was slain, and they weren’t quiet about telling other people about it. So the Pharisees saw this as a threat to their power over the early church. Saul was highly ranked, so had approval benefits over whether people died for their beliefs.
Under Saul’s rule, lots and lots of Early Christians died. Stephen was only among the first.
Now, skip forward a little bit to Saul’s trip to Damascus. He had heard that a bunch of Christians were getting together, and wanted to put a stop to it. But fortunately for Saul, Jesus got to him first. He met him on the road, and spoke to him.
Because of that conversation, and what Jesus said to Saul, he changed his ways. Newly named Paul became one of the biggest advocates for grace. He even states in one of his books, “by grace are you saved through faith, and not through your works.”
Paul’s story is one of the greatest “beginning” stories in the bible. I love it because it seemed nothing can keep Paul down. He even writes one of his letters, filled with joy as a matter of fact, from prison. And not a prison like we think about it. He writes waist deep in human feces, because the prison he was in was part of the city sewage system. He was allowed to write letters because he was Roman, and as a citizen of Rome he had certain rights.
My favorite of Paul’s letters is the one he wrote to James. He writes about the tongue, and about watching our words. He writes about only saying good and kind things. I think in today’s day and age that’s a very important thing to remember. If we were all a little kinder, the world would be a much better place to live. So take a lesson from Paul, and don’t let bad things get you down, and always speak kindness to those around you.
What’s your favorite of Paul’s letters? Let me know below! And don’t forget to share this post!
Until next time,