For I want you to know, brothers and sisters, that the gospel that was proclaimed by me is not of human origin; for I did not receive it from a human source, nor was I taught it, but I received it through a revelation of Jesus Christ. You have heard, no doubt, of my earlier life in Judaism. I was violently persecuting the church of God and was trying to destroy it. I advanced in Judaism beyond many among my people of the same age, for I was far more zealous for the traditions of my ancestors. But when God, who had set me apart before I was born and called me through his grace, was pleased to reveal his Son to me, so that I might proclaim him among the Gentiles, I did not confer with any human being, nor did I go up to Jerusalem to those who were already apostles before me, but I went away at once into Arabia, and afterwards I returned to Damascus. Then after three years I did go up to Jerusalem to visit Cephas and stayed with him fifteen days; but I did not see any other apostle except James the Lord’s brother. In what I am writing to you, before God, I do not lie! Then I went into the regions of Syria and Cilicia, and I was still unknown by sight to the churches of Judea that are in Christ; they only heard it said, “The one who formerly was persecuting us is now proclaiming the faith he once tried to destroy.” And they glorified God because of me.
Food For Thought:
In this passage of Scripture, we hear the apostle Paul tell his story, in which he had a change of heart. Think about your own life. Have you made radical changes? How did that feel? How did you get through making those radical changes? Were there special people to help you along the way?
God, you call us to go where Christ leads.
Turn us from the ways of the world;
guide us to fullness of joy in the Spirit,
where bodies and souls rest secure;
and grant us strength
to follow the way of the cross,
which frees us to love one another
for the sake of all creation. Amen.
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