Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Can God use me? (Part 2)

I began this series by asking the question “Can God use me?” By that I also mean “can God use you?” or to put it another way “who does God use?”

I am answering the question by looking at five examples of different people from significantly diverse backgrounds and cultures that God used. My first example was the Old Testament figure of Moses.

My second example is that of a man who was as hostile to Christians as it is possible to get. Saul wanted to kill Christian believers, male and female alike, and was actively seeking to send them to prison. He breathed murderous threats against the followers of Christ, zealously persecuting the church. It is difficult to find someone more violently opposed to Christians than this man. (Acts 8:1, 9:1-2, Phil 3:4-7, 1 Tim 1:12-14)

On the positive side, he was well educated, and without question was an expert in Old Testament law. He had studied long and hard as a Pharisee. Sadly his training had caused him to become a hypocrite, using violence and murder to uphold the law, thus contradicting his beliefs by his actions.

By background he was Jewish, from the tribe of Benjamin, a Hebrew of Hebrews. He was also born a Roman citizen, a status which bestowed rights and privilege in the world in which he lived. He possessed a unique blend of culture, language and education that God used when he had a dramatic encounter with the risen Christ on the road to Damascus. (Phil 3:5, Acts 22:27-28, Acts 9:1-19)

When Jesus spoke to this angry, violent blasphemer on that dusty road, Saul the persecutor of Christians, became Paul, the apostle to the Gentiles. The angry young man became one of the greatest ambassadors for the gospel of Jesus Christ.

God uses all sorts.

Today there are violent angry atheists in our world, spitting venom and hatred towards Christ and his followers. Some of them will be transformed by the Spirit of God though an encounter with the Son of God to be the most ardent, fervent followers and advocates of Jesus Christ.

Next Post: Hugh Bourne, the lonely introvert

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