May 9, 2016

Acts 9:15 This man is my chosen instrument to proclaim my name to the Gentiles and their kings and to the people of Israel.

If you don’t know the story of Paul’s conversion- the vision and voice on the road to Damascus where he was going “so that if he found any there who belonged to the Way, whether men or women, he might take them as prisoners to Jerusalem” (9:2),- go and read all of chapter nine. My point in this piece is that if the leaders of the church were together soon after Jesus’ resurrection and sitting around wondering how this new faith was going to survive and grow my guess is that none of them said “Maybe God will take one of our biggest enemies and change his heart so that he will be someone who will go throughout the known world and bring others to the faith.” The British comedy troop, Monte Python, had a line in one routine that went “Nobody expects the Spanish Inquisition!” Well, nobody was expecting the Apostle Paul. But he happened and that is one of the reasons we are still talking about Jesus today. Many people are worried about the state of the church today. Relax. God grew his church in ways no one imagined. We often fear unknown possibilities that might hurt us or others and of course sometimes they do happen. But there are also unknown possibilities that advance God’s purposes for good in our lives and our world. As you look back over your life are there things you enjoy now that you hadn’t planned out or created on your own or thought would be the way they now are? I bet so. God is full of surprises. Faith means trusting that those surprises will be good. This week look for the God of surprises.

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