February 8

1 Corinthians 15:1-11

“For I am the least of the apostles, unfit to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God.” vs. 9

Paul occasionally drops autobiographical material into his writings and what he says about himself usually corresponds to what we read about him in Acts. Initially he had no love for the church and actively participated in the persecution of its members. All that changed with his personal encounter with the Risen Christ, an revelation similar to that which had been experienced by the leaders of the church in Jerusalem. From that point on Paul was an energized missionary, working harder than anyone to spread the good news of Jesus. Some would even say that he was the founder of Christianity, the guiding force behind its development and growth. He never forgot his past nor did he ever try to cover it up. Everyone knew his story. In one sense he didn’t feel he deserved to be an apostle…he didn’t have the credentials. But that didn’t keep him from working night and day to pass on the good news of life and salvation. In our time we mistrust redemption stories. We’re reluctant to believe that anyone can change and love the dirt that can be dug up about our politicians and leaders. Our investigators would have had a field day with Paul…but he wouldn’t have cared. He knew what he had been and he knew what he had become by the grace of God. Nothing could keep him from his appointed mission.

Thought for the Day: Why are redemption stories treated with skepticism?

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