Ray McDonald's Blog

Thoughts and Reflections

Conversion

Matthew 18:3

And he said: Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.

20140530-104833-38913743.jpgHave you ever read about Paul’s conversion? Here is a bit of his story. Acts 9:1-9 – 1 Meanwhile, Saul was still breathing out murderous threats against the Lord’s disciples. He went to the high priest 2 and asked him for letters to the synagogues in Damascus, so that if he found any there who belonged to the Way, whether men or women, he might take them as prisoners to Jerusalem. As he neared Damascus on his journey, suddenly a light from heaven flashed around him. He fell to the ground and heard a voice say to him, “Saul, Saul, why do you persecute me?” 5 “Who are you, Lord?” Saul asked. “I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting,” he replied. 6 “Now get up and go into the city, and you will be told what you must do.” 7 The men traveling with Saul stood there speechless; they heard the sound but did not see anyone. Saul got up from the ground, but when he opened his eyes he could see nothing. So they led him by the hand into Damascus. For three days he was blind, and did not eat or drink anything.

When Paul saw Jesus – of course he was still called Saul. A change came over him! First – Jesus Himself confronted Saul. Second – He was changed – he was not the same – he was blinded and needed help. He sought out one whom he had been sent to persecute. Here is more of the story. Acts 9:10-19 – 10 In Damascus there was a disciple named Ananias. The Lord called to him in a vision, “Ananias!” “Yes, Lord,” he answered. 11 The Lord told him, “Go to the house of Judas on Straight Street and ask for a man from Tarsus named Saul, for he is praying. 12 In a vision he has seen a man named Ananias come and place his hands on him to restore his sight.” 13 “Lord,” Ananias answered, “I have heard many reports about this man and all the harm he has done to your holy people in Jerusalem. 14 And he has come here with authority from the chief priests to arrest all who call on your name.” 15 But the Lord said to Ananias, “Go! This man is my chosen instrument to proclaim my name to the Gentiles and their kings and to the people of Israel. 16 I will show him how much he must suffer for my name.” 17 Then Ananias went to the house and entered it. Placing his hands on Saul, he said, “Brother Saul, the Lord—Jesus, who appeared to you on the road as you were coming here—has sent me so that you may see again and be filled with the Holy Spirit.” 18 Immediately, something like scales fell from Saul’s eyes, and he could see again. He got up and was baptized, 19 and after taking some food, he regained his strength.

What an amazing story – a real change came over Saul/Paul. He went from persecuting Jesus and His church to being one of its strongest advocates. It is Paul who wrote – 2 Corinthians 5:17 – Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!

A woman came forward yesterday – and asked me to take her to the cross to receive Jesus as her Lord and Savior. Carolyn and I prayed with her and supported her conversion. We will continue to look out for her and her new birth – her new walk with Jesus.

We cannot come to Jesus with pride or with an all-knowing approach. We need to come before Jesus with humility and a willingness to seek help. Here is how Jesus put it – as some of His Disciples were arguing about who was the greatest among them. Matthew 18:1–5 – 1 At that time the disciples came to Jesus and asked, “Who, then, is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?” 2 He called a little child to him, and placed the child among them. And he said: Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Therefore, whoever takes the lowly position of this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. And whoever welcomes one such child in my name welcomes me.

Have you experienced a true conversion – a life changing moment when you yielded your life to Jesus? If not – do so today – don’t wait. Confess your sin – be humble before God – ask for His forgiveness – and ask Jesus to enter your heart – your life – and be your Lord and Savior.

Just something to think about today as you go on your way.

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September 15, 2014 - Posted by | Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Leadership, Outreach, Personal, Sermons, Theology | , , , , , , ,

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