For do I now persuade men, or God? Or do I seek to please men? For if I still pleased men, I would not be a bondservant of Christ. But I make known to you, brethren, that the gospel which was preached by me is not according to man. For I neither received it from man, nor was I taught it, but it came through the revelation of Jesus Christ. For you have heard of my former conduct in Judaism, how I persecuted the church of God beyond measure and tried to destroy it. And I advanced in Judaism beyond many of my contemporaries in my own nation, being more exceedingly zealous for the traditions of my fathers.
But when it pleased God, who separated me from my mother’s womb and called me through His grace, to reveal His Son in me, that I might preach Him among the Gentiles, I did not immediately confer with flesh and blood, nor did I go up to Jerusalem to those who were apostles before me; but I went to Arabia, and returned again to Damascus. Then after three years I went up to Jerusalem to see Peter, and remained with him fifteen days. But I saw none of the other apostles except James, the Lord’s brother. (Now concerning the things which I write to you, indeed, before God, I do not lie.) Afterward I went into the regions of Syria and Cilicia. And I was unknown by face to the churches of Judea which were in Christ. But they were hearing only, “He who formerly persecuted us now preaches the faith which he once tried to destroy.” And they glorified God in me.
Listen to the testimony of one man as relayed by Philip Ryken:
One man was searching for the meaning of his existence. His life was full of emptiness and despair. He knew there had to be something more, but he had no idea what it was. Then one day he found what he was looking for. While he was working as a pathologist in a hospital, he went down to the morgue. Another hospital worker there looked straight at him and asked, “Do you know Jesus Christ?” Something in the man’s heart cried out and he said, “That’s it! That’s the answer. I’ve been looking for Jesus Christ.”
Every Christian’s story is different, but the story line is always the same. God chose you and called you to faith; He revealed His Son to your heart. Then he gave you a particular place of service. Do you know what God has called you to do? Do you realize that you do not live for yourself anymore? You belong to God, you cannot go and seek some great position for yourself; you must receive your place in life as a gift from Him. Are you living for God? Have you been set apart for His service? God is calling you, by His grace, to a change of life. What changes do you need to make in your life to fulfill God’s calling upon you?
This week study the life of a Biblical character such as Joseph, Moses, Elijah, or Paul (in Acts chapter 9) and see if you cannot learn to apply some of the lessons from the change in their lives to your life.
Listen to this message: