By Tyson Thorne

February 3, 2014

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Before delving into today’s writing, read Acts 9.1-.19

But the Lord said to Ananias, "Go! This man is my chosen instrument – I will show him how much he must suffer for my name."

Saul was on his way to "collect" Christians from around Israel, arresting them for blasphemy, a crime punished by death. Many believers, including Ananias, thought it best to steer clear of the murderous Jew, but God had other plans for him, plans accompanying salvation.

Saul was the last man to see Jesus after his resurrection, unless you believe the legend of Constantine, which states that on the eve of his most important battle for Rome in the year 311 AD he saw a vision in the sky, a vision of Christ crucified with the words beneath "in this you shall conquer." Paul’s experience made him a candidate for apostleship, as any who had not seen Christ were incapable of holding the office of apostle. This, coupled with his knowledge of Jewish law and history, and a dramatic conversion experience, uniquely qualified him to become Christendom’s greatest missionary.

When Christ appeared to Saul on the road to Damascus he did not overcome Saul's objections to Christianity, His mere appearance did that; the appearance of Christ in splendid glory proved Saul wrong, and Jesus gave him three days to consider this fact. By the end of those three days, during which Saul probably wrestled with his pride, he had concluded the following: Christ was his best and only option. He concluded this despite the fact that it meant giving up his family, his job, his life as he then knew it. Becoming a Christian was both costly and dangerous for a man in Saul’s position.

How costly and dangerous is following Christ for you? The cost could mean giving up a job promotion , or mean making a personal sacrifice so someone else might be blessed or lifted up. The danger could be experiencing forms of persecution. Think about the last time you gave up an opportunity (cost) for Christ, then think about the last time someone took an opportunity from you (danger) because you were a believer. If it has been a long time since either has taken place, ask yourself, "Why is that?"

But I am a worm, not a man;
people insult me and despise me.
All who see me taunt me;
they mock me and shake their heads.
They say, “Commit yourself to the Lord!
Let the Lord rescue him!

Let the Lord deliver him, for he delights in him.”
— Psalm 22.6-.8

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