But Suddenly

15 March 2012

But Suddenly

Christian Bible Teaching By Sharon Hood
March 14, 2012

Do you ever think about the way Saul became Paul? Paul was on the road to Damascus to persecute Christians, when he was suddenly stopped right in his tracks.  If we want to be specific, we can say He was knocked right off His high horse. God really wanted his attention and got it.

If anybody in the Bible deserved a lightning bolt from heaven to incinerate him on the spot, it was Saul of Tarsus.  He is introduced in Chapter 9 of the book of Acts. A zealous persecutor of the fledgling Christian Church, Saul deserved to die for his treachery against God. Instead, God gave him a second chance. Not only did Jesus convert Saul to believe in him, he used him as the apostle Paul to take the Gospel to the Gentiles. During the rest of his life, Paul was ship wrecked, beaten, stoned, robbed and imprisoned, yet God protected him from death, giving him chance after chance to complete his assignment.

Paul did.

Acts 9:4-5  A light from heaven flashed and he fell to the ground stunned. He heard a voice; “Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting Me?” Saul asked who he was and the reply came back; “I am Jesus whom you are persecuting.”

After the incident He proceeded on the road with the help of his companions because he was struck blind. He had been spiritually blind all along until then. Now he could see in a new way and the incident turned his life around. He was a brand new man and the old life fell to the ground and left behind forever more.

I’ve seen many people converted to Christ over the years. Some of them also had very dramatic conversions. Their lives have never been the same. A very dear friend of mine seemed to not have a chance. Until what I like to call his “but suddenly” experience. He was already very messed up in so many ways living on the streets and driven by an enormous drug and alcohol addiction just to mention a few issues.

BUT SUDDENLY one day while at work he fell off a three story house (knocked off his high horse). Left with a very grim prognosis. He was on life support and diagnosed brain dead by the professionals, but his faithful mother refused to allow him to be taken off life support. Believing that God would revive him. Never underestimate the power of a praying mother. Long story shortened, my friend now operates a very large homeless ministry downtown Knoxville, TN and several halfway houses. His testimony tells of how he went to hell and personally fought the devil. Everyone needs to personally hear his testimony and how he continues to live for Jesus and gives God glory.

But I have seen others whose walk doesn’t seem to line up with their talk. I know some who claim to be Christian but their deeds continue to be that of a heathen.

I can still remember an old question I used to hear when I when I was younger, maybe by Billy Graham: If you were arrested for being a Christian, would there be enough evidence to convict you? Wow! What a question!

Hopefully you are like Paul; so completely changed by God that God calls you by another name!

One more question for you? Are you Saul material?  What does the God of second chances have in store for you? Do you have to be a Jonah, David, Lazarus or Paul to receive a second chance, or third chance or millionth chance, from God?  No.  Christ has a second chance for anyone who needs it, including you.

Maybe you’ve failed at something in life, and you think that dream is lost and that God has forgotten you.  Let me tell you this, my friend, from my own experience, that we serve the God of second chances. Right now I’m on my ?th or ??th chance.  Or is it my 50th chance? I lost track around 10 years ago, and thank God He doesn’t keep score either.  Whether it’s a failed marriage, a job loss, a relationship, or your finances, maybe you’ve failed at being a parent.

God hasn’t given up on you. He wants to heal you, make you right, and guide you into the purpose He has for your life. It could involve a “but suddenly”. Your new mission for Him may be different, in fact completely different from what you had in mind. But if you’re obedient, God will give you everything you need to accomplish this mission.  Even if it’s another chance.

All my love Sharon

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