Monday, March 24, 2008

Acts: A Brief But Far Too Wordy and Perhaps Flawed Stream of Consciousness On Saul’s Conversion (9:1-9)

Paul’s encounter with Jesus on the Damascus Road is always viewed as an unusual thing in Christian history. The idea is that not everyone gets a confrontation straight from Christ calling them to repentance. In fact they do.
In Paul’s case, everyone focuses on the encounter with Christ and forgets the way God used Ananias and Barnabas to disciple Paul. Every person who enters into a relationship with Christ hears about Him and His desire for him or her to know him from another witness, but they have all had God dealing with them before that encounter.
Ok, it may be a stretch to compare everyone’s encounter with Christ with that of Paul’s, but the fact is that God is constantly confronting people. Armed with that knowledge, and the fact that all Christ asked of His followers was to tell others what they have experienced of Him, Christians everywhere should be doing a lot more sharing of their story with others than they are. After all, we are not talking of proselytizing here. Christians are never told to make converts. It is not their responsibility to “make” Christians. Only God can do that. Discipling (or teaching) is required, but that does not involve convincing or cajoling people who are not interested in being coaxed.
Tell your story. Answer questions. Be sensitive to where God is working in people’s lives. Remember that God is encountering people every day. Will you be the one to help them clearly see?

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