Sunday, December 6, 2009

He Finally Presented Himself Alive to Me...

Some people do things quietly, in an organized, orderly fashion.
Other people are larger than life in their persona and style, and what they do is bold, dramatic, loud.

Paul was the second type of person. God made him that way. When he thought the "followers of the Way" were heretics, he determined to round them all up himself, and stamp out this awful new religion.

So Jesus met him in a powerful and dramatic way. One that got his total attention and was completely unmistakable. Then he dedicated himself to spread the Good News for the rest of his days. He alludes to that encounter today.

1 Corinthians 15
1 -2 "Friends, let me go over the Message with you one final time— this Message that I proclaimed and that you made your own; this Message on which you took your stand and by which your life has been saved. (I'm assuming, now, that your belief was the real thing and not a passing fancy, that you're in this for good and holding fast.)
3 -9 The first thing I did was place before you what was placed so emphatically before me:
that the Messiah died for our sins, exactly as Scripture tells it;
that he was buried; that he was raised from death on the third day, again exactly as Scripture says;
that he presented himself alive to Peter, then to his closest followers,
and later to more than five hundred of his followers all at the same time, most of them still around (although a few have since died);
that he then spent time with James and the rest of those he commissioned to represent him;
and that he finally presented himself alive to me."

Paul would never forget until his dying day that dramatic encounter.
Have you met Jesus?
I don't mean have you gotten religion? That can be like joining a country club.
No, I mean, have you met Jesus? If you have, it will change your life!

Paul goes on...

"It was fitting that I bring up the rear. I don't deserve to be included in that inner circle, as you well know, having spent all those early years trying my best to stamp God's church right out of existence.
10 -11 But because God was so gracious, so very generous, here I am.
And I'm not about to let his grace go to waste.
Haven't I worked hard trying to do more than any of the others?
Even then, my work didn't amount to all that much.
It was God giving me the work to do, God giving me the energy to do it.
So whether you heard it from me or from those others, it's all the same:
We spoke God's truth and you entrusted your lives."

If you have met Jesus, it will change your life forever...

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