God’s amazing grace
I remember growing up hearing an
old saying - a leopard can’t change its spots meaning that people can’t change.
Whilst we recognise that change is very difficult and involves hard work and
discipline we do believe that change through the power of Christ is possible.
Paul in Galatians 1:11-24 shares his testimony that in his previous way of life
1:13 he persecuted the church. He says that he was very zealous for Judaism
but things changed when God broke into his life through a revelation of Jesus.
Today many people think that it is too difficult for Muslims to come to faith in
Jesus. However there are many well known and documented stories of Jesus
revealing himself to Muslims and them coming to faith. Paul wants the
Christians to understand that this message of Christ is not made up. He does
this by indicating that he didn’t go immediately to see the apostles. In fact he
went into Arabia for a time. Paul would have been praying and listening to the
Lord and studying the Old Testament Scriptures because these testify about the
Lord Jesus and the coming of God’s servant and Messiah. Paul sees that his
conversion to Christ was purely by the grace of God. In fact he sees that this
was no accident because God set him apart from the womb 1:15. This should
give us confidence when we are sharing our faith. We can’t make people
become Christians rather it is the power of the Gospel of Jesus which can
transform people and open their hearts. Paul reports in 1:23-24 that the
churches which Paul began to visit reported that the man that who previously
persecuted us is now preaching the faith. Let us be bold to believe that God can
break into the lives of unlikely people in our community. Rev David O’Mara