Some young men from a nearby halfway house, some still rough around the edges, came to church one Sunday morning. “Who are they and what are they doing here?” one woman asked me.
“Maybe they’re here to worship,” I responded. “Well, we’re keeping an eye on them, and they know it,” she retorted. Her response to those scraggly young men, while less than welcoming, was natural and understandable. Frankly, some of them did look scary. On the other hand, these fellows were on a journey from imprisonment to freedom. Ahead of them was the possibility of new, changed and better lives.
Many early believers rightfully mistrusted Paul. He had been a violent and fanatical persecutor of Christians. So Paul shares how his life has changed, how he has been called by God’s grace to proclaim Jesus Christ among the Gentiles. The one who had tried to destroy the church has become the great apostle.
Perhaps you know people whose lives have changed radically. You may know someone who has overcome addiction or a criminal past. How has your own life changed? In what ways are you a completely different person? How is God working in your life today?
God of new life, help us grow into better persons. Amen. — JRG