Mighty Men Of God[10]: Paul Used By God.

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Read: I [Paul] served the Lord with great humility and with tears and in the midst of severe testing by the plots of my Jewish opponents. Acts 20:19

Examine: Paul was born as Saul in Tarsus which is modern-day, Turkey. He was of Benjamite, Hebrew ancestry (Philippians 3:5–6), Pharisees, and also a Roman citizen but viewed Jerusalem as a truly sacred and holy city (Acts 22:22-29). Saul studied under Gamaliel on the Lord’s laws. Saul learned the Scripture in depth (Acts 22:3)

Paul’s story is Acts 9:1–22, his meeting with Jesus Christ on the road from Jerusalem to Damascus, a journey of about 150 miles. Saul took permission to bring any Christians back to Jerusalem to imprison them. On the road, Saul was caught in a bright light from heaven that caused him to fall face down on the ground. He heard the words, “Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting me?” He replied, “Who are you, Lord?” Jesus answered directly and clearly, “I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting” (verses 4–5).

From that moment on, Saul’s life was turned upside down. The light blinded him, and as he traveled on he had to rely on his companions and continued to Damascus, through Ananias Lord told that Saul was a “chosen instrument” (Acts 9:15) and would suffer for doing so (Acts 9:16). Ananias found Saul, on whom he laid hands, and told him of his vision of Jesus Christ. Through prayer, Saul received the Holy Spirit (Acts 9:17), regained his sight, and was baptized (Acts 9:18). Saul immediately went into the synagogues and proclaimed Jesus as the Son of God (Acts 9:20).

Saul spent time in Arabia, and Barnabas brought Paul to church in Antioch (Acts 11:25). Their Lord called them to be missionaries. Saul took his first of three missionary journeys in the late AD 40s. As he spent more time in Gentile areas. (Acts 13:9) The apostle Paul spent his life proclaiming the risen Christ Jesus throughout the Roman world, often at great personal peril (2 Corinthians 11:24–27). It is assumed that Paul died a martyr’s death in the mid-to-late AD 60s in Rome.

Application: Paul’s life was turned upside down “chosen instrument” to carry His name before the Gentiles, kings, and the children of Israel and would suffer for doing so. Paul was so faithful, had no complaints, and was ready to follow even if it cost His life and it cost His life.

Decision: Oh Lord! Paul lived life to please God and not man. Paul was focused on the calling of God in his life. He was a humble manNo, I strike a blow to my body and make it my slave so that after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified for the prize.’ (1 Corinthians 9:27 )

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