Before my trip to Damascus I was a big shot Pharisee type. I was an important man in the Jewish community with a focus at this time on putting an end to this Jesus movement.
Then came that day on the road to Damascus I saw the light (both literally & figuratively). Of course my momma always said don’t look directly into the sun or you’ll burn out your eye balls.. well.. momma was right.
But this light stopped me dead in my tracks like a traffic light on main street .. and there was a voice from the light calling me by name “Saul (my friends used to call me Saul).. why are you persecuting me?” because at this time I was described as.. a man breathing murders and threats against Christians .
Once my sight returned I could not stop preaching Jesus Christ. I was of course at first received cautiously by Christians who were unsure of my motives. I guess breathing murders and threats up til this point made a negative impression GO FIGURE, and.. was a mystery wrapped in an enigma with my Pharisee Lodge brothers.
But in time Christians saw my love for Jesus was real, and the Jewish community realized this was not just a Pharisees mid-life crisis. My life would never be the same and these were dangerous, and miraculous times to be a follower of Jesus Christ. There was even a time where differences between myself and Silas resulted in us prayerfully and respectfully going different directions but still both serving the same God. You might want to call this the beginning of denominations. The church was truly now one body of many parts.
I also remember when a young man named Eutychus who fell asleep during one of my sermons, fell to his death, but .. got better? Anyways let’s just say from this day forward this young man was known as the unofficial patron saint for those who ‘sleep in church’ . And no hard feelings towards Eutychus, I tend to get a little long winded when I preach.
So then God uses this zealous anger of the religious establishment to get me arrested while others plotted my death . Funny thing is.. these were the best years of my life. Of course prison life, and being hated by those in power was not on my 'bucket list'.. BUT God was able to use these times to share his truth like only He could. While I suffered, God gave me peace that none of this was about me, but It was about sharing the greater hope in Jesus Christ.
Then while around a fire on this island I was bit by a poisoness snake . Of course God protected me again.. I shook off the snake and the only frustrating after affect was that several of the crew took this as a sign to start a ‘Snake Handler Church’.
After 3 months on this Island we set sail again and made our trip to Jerusalem where again I could plead my case for Jesus and the truth that he was the son of God who came to earth, lived, was crucified for our sins, and was resurrected, and now is in Heaven with the Father.
May God bless each of your lives, and give you opportunities to serve Him and others in ways that make your lives full and complete. Be faithful in the moments that make up your day, and may your happiness never be measured in comfort or wealth but in service to God and others. When you discover this, then you also will be living the best years of your lives.