Acts 9: You Don’t Have to Change to Serve God

“But the Lord said, ‘Go, for Saul is my chosen instrument to take my message to the Gentiles and to kings, as well as to the people of Israel.’”

Acts 9:15

Have you ever thought you needed to change first before you could serve God?

This week we meet Paul.  At the end of Chapter 8 we see a man called Saul (the same guy we know as Paul) watching the stoning of Steven. Saul made it his mission to eradicate the followers of Jesus.  He saw them as opposition to the Jewish faith so he used his passion & determination to defeat them. 

One day on his journey to a new town Saul meets the Ascended Jesus.  Through their interaction Jesus tells him to go into the city to await further guidance. This conversation is known as Paul’s conversion.  Paul goes on to share the Gospel of Jesus Christ with the Gentiles (those not of the Jewish faith) and kings.  He wrote more than half of the New Testament with some of his letters.  

God did have Paul change who he was once called to serve.  Instead God used Paul’s passion & determination to go into new cities & cultures sharing the Gospel.  We will learn more from Paul as we study through Acts. For right now we learn how God calls anyone to serve without the expectation of changing one’s personality. 

Paul was determined to stop the Christians because he saw them as opposition to the Jewish faith.  He got support from leadership to go town to town to arrest any Christians in that town. But when God called him to share the Gospel of Jesus God did not ask Paul to stop being determined or displaying leadership.  Rather God used that same determination &  leadership in the name of Jesus.

Paul made 3 missionary trips and ended up in Rome, the virtual capital of the world, sharing the Gospel & starting churches in each town. Paul now became determined to tell everyone about Jesus and led others to begin following the Way in their own lives. 

As God is calling you to serve you do not need to change who you are first before you can serve.  The traits that make you unique are the very ones God wants to use to share the Gospel with people in your life.  

If you love hosting people at gatherings to hang out think how you can now gather people to hear the Gospel.

If you enjoy creating music & playing see how you can use those loves to communicate God’s love to others.

If you enjoy being creative with materials, how can that creativity can articulate aspects of God’s unconditional love for each of us.

God is calling you to serve as you are where you are. Don’t not believe the adversary’s (Satan) lies trying to convince you that you have to change first before God can use you.  Hear the Holy Spirit whisper in your heart that you are perfect just as you are. God wants to use your uniqueness to share the Gospel in the world. 

As you go about your week see how God is using your uniqueness.  Dream how you can use that uniqueness to share your story with Jesus Christ. Pray with God for the opportunities to share & the courage to step into those moments. 

Keep being yourself.  Grow more into the individual God has created you to be in this life. Be as Paul, committed to the Lord Jesus Christ, just as you are.

This Week’s Challenge

Write in your journal how God has created you unique.  For each trait, write how you can share your story about Jesus with that trait.

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