2018-07-08 18:00:25

/ July 8, 2018 - 6:00 pm / 32 min / Viewed 14 times

Acts 9:1-16

Martyrs: Paul 1

Forewarned – Forearmed
Saul’s conversion was startling but not entirely instantaneous –
the Lord was obviously preparing him in advance for the
dramatic confrontation on the road to Damascus. The
forewarning that he would suffer in his new calling to preach
the Gospel was undoubtedly daunting, but it was no surprise.
Paul knew full well that Christians would suffer for their faith, he
knew it well, after all, he had been on the other side of the
sword of persecution. Yet he went forward and in time face
some of the most intense harassment and abuse recorded in
Scripture after that of Christ. What gave him such resolve and
courage? He knew the Christ and he had to serve Him – He
knew the Word and had to preach it – He knew the risk and he
had to take it – and he endured to the end – most importantly
he knew that Jesus was true to His word when he told him from
the beginning He will be with him and then bolstered Paul’s
confidence along the way with reminders of His nearness. Paul
was forewarned about the trouble that lay ahead – but he was
forearmed with grace, faith, the Holy Spirit and His Sword (the
Word of God) and the presence of the Lord who would strive
with him in the battle to its victorious end. Jesus’ promise is true
for all who are in Christ no matter what our circumstances may
be – and it is an especially salient assurance for those who face
persecution today.