The conversion of Saul of Tarsus on the Damascus Road is about as dramatic a change in a man’s life, as you will ever see. Saul the persecutor of Christians becomes Paul the preacher of Christ. The one going to Damascus on a mission of destruction is smitten by the power of God and is sent across the nations preaching the faith he once despised. And he being dead yet speaketh.
The power of God to convict men and women is just as effective today as it was for Saul. The conversion may not appear so dramatic, but it is nevertheless just as real. Saul saw a great light from heaven, and the seeking sinner must meet the One who is the light of the world. Saul heard a voice, and we hear the voice of God as revealed in His precious Word. Saul submitted himself to the will of God, and so does every true penitent.
The outward signs of the inward work in Saul’s heart are several. True prayer is a mark of the true believer. Of Saul it was said, “Behold, he prayeth” [Acts 9:11]. Soon after, he was filled with the Holy Spirit and immediately began to preach Christ. The outward evidence of God’s inward work will be seen in every true believer.
However, the greatest confirmation of the work in Saul was the testimony or witness of God Himself in heaven. Ananias was reluctant to go near Saul because of his reputation as a wicked persecutor of the saints. But God said, “Go thy way: for he is a chosen vessel unto me.”
Dear weary saint, rejoice today that you are a vessel chosen by God, for “if God be for us, who can be against us.”[Romans 8:31].
“Conversion is a deep work – a heart work. It goes throughout the man, throughout the mind, throughout the members, throughout the entire life.” [Joseph Alleine].
Sometimes Christians become discouraged and think that nobody notices the work they do for the Lord. Some years ago Karen Reische, who was a member of the church before she died, made me a beautiful needlepoint copy of Hebrews 6:10. I have it framed in a prominent place in the house, and I am blessed every time I read it. I share it with you for your encouragement.
“God is not unrighteous to forget your work and labour of love, which ye have shewed toward His name, in that ye have ministered to the saints, and do minister.”
The Lord commends His people for “their labour of love.” It is active labour, not laziness, motivated by love. Husbands and wives love each other and work together for their common good. The love of God is shed abroad in the hearts of His people, and their reciprocal love leads them to labour for Him. God does not forget their efforts.
McDonalds used to have an advertising jingle, “We do it all for you.” This is not strictly true for the profit motive figured prominently. But the Christian can lift his eyes to heaven and say to Him with regard to his work for the Lord, “I do it all for Thee.” And the Lord does not forget the least ministry to the saints
THE CHRISTIAN AND HIS BIBLE
I find my Lord in the Bible wherever I chance to look. He is the theme of the Bible, the Centre and Heart of the Book.
He is the Rose of Sharon; He is the Lily fair. Wherever I open my Bible the Lord of the Bible is there.
He is the Ark of shelter bearing the brunt of the storm; The Burning Bush of the desert; the budding of Aaron’s rod.
The Ram upon Mount Moriah; the Ladder from Earth to sky; the Scarlet Cord in the window; and the Serpent lifted high.
The Smitten Rock in the desert; the Shepherd with staff and crook; the face of my Lord I discover whenever I open the Book.
He is the seed of the woman; the Saviour, virgin born. He is the Son of David whom men rejected with scorn.
His garments of Grace and of Beauty, the stately Aaron deck; yet He is a Priest forever for He is Melchizedek.
He’s the Lord of Eternal Glory whom John in vision saw, Light of the Golden City, Lamb without spot or flaw. Bridegroom coming at midnight for whom the virgins look. Whenever I open my Bible I find my Lord in the Book. [Author Unknown]
“We must read our Bibles like men digging for hidden treasure.” [Dr. J.C. Ryle]