April 17, 2015

Surprised by the Savior

Acts 9:1-16

Suddenly a light from heaven flashed around him. . . . “Who are you, Lord?” Saul asked. “I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting,” he replied.

—  Acts 9:3, 5

If ever someone hated Chris­tianity and all it stood for, it was Saul. He "began to destroy the church. Going from house to house, he dragged off both men and women and put them in prison" (Acts 8:3).

But now, on his way to Damas­cus to persecute Chris­tians there, Saul was in for the surprise of his life. The risen Savior met him along the way and asked, "Why do you persecute me?" So the persecutor became a powerful ambassador for Christ, a missionary to the Gentiles, living proof that even the most hardened unbeliever can be changed.

That's why we can't ever give up on anyone. Not even the greatest sinner is beyond the Savior's reach. Shortly after World War II a close friend of my father became a believer. He was in his fifties and had been an unbeliever his entire life. During the war one of his sons died in a German concentration camp, but before his death he was able to write home about his faith in the Lord Jesus. Slowly the Spirit began speaking to the father. A short time later, when his wife on her deathbed had a vision of Christ, the man became convinced that Jesus is alive, and soon he confessed his faith.

The risen Savior is bringing people to himself today—perhaps through you and me. Are we willing to be used by him?

Father in heaven, help us to represent you so that through us someone may come to know the Savior. In his name, Amen.

About the author — Arthur J. Schoonveld

Rev. Art Schoonveld is a retired minister in the Christian Reformed Church. Before retiring in 2001, he served churches in California, Illinois, and Michigan. Since his retirement he has worked part-time for the denomination and has served as an interim pastor. Art and his wife, Anita, have four children and nine grandchildren.

Start your day with quick daily devotions.

See God's love, power, presence, and purpose in your life every day!