Looking From the Outside ( by Carley Evans )


Looking From the Outside

Let’s think for a moment about Saul, a persecutor and murderer of Christians, a dyed in the wool enemy of Jesus Christ. Now, why do you suppose God picked Saul? What was particularly attractive about this man? His willingness to be extreme? Maybe. For the task God gives to Saul, I think his zealousness is a good trait. Saul is also smart and knowledgeable about God’s Law, His Word. That had to be attractive to God. Yes? Maybe. But what of Saul’s hatred of the Father’s Son? How could that be attractive to God the Father? Or to God the Holy Spirit? Saul’s hatred of the Son of God had to be offensive to the Godhead!

So, why does Jesus appear to Saul on the road to Damascus?

Doesn’t it indicate God knows Saul’s heart? God knows what anyone looking from the outside could not possibly see – that Saul is ready to become Paul, the great Apostle of Jesus Christ first for the Jews then for the Gentiles.

Next time you start to judge another, stop and think about how you would have judged Paul.

“And Now, Why Do You Wait?” (Acts 22: 16, ESV) by Carley Evans


Saul is struck blind on the road to Damascus by the Holy Spirit, who appears as “a great light from heaven.” (Acts 22: 6) He is called out by God — challenged to explain why he is persecuting the Lord Jesus Christ.

Jesus commands Saul to go into Damascus. “There you will be told all that is appointed for you to do.” (Acts 22: 10)

Saul obeys. In Damascus, Saul is greeted by Ananias who commands, “Receive your sight.” (Acts 22: 13) Not only this, but Ananias tells Saul that he will be privileged to hear the voice of God, to know His righteous will, to see the Righteous One, and to be a witness for Him to everyone! (Acts 22: 14, 15)

In the light of all this, Ananias asks, “And now, why do you wait?”

Once we hear and believe, why do we wait? The next step is to “rise and be baptized and wash away [our] sins, calling on His Name.” (Acts 22: 16)

Peter preaches to the men of Judea at Pentecost, and “when they heard… they were cut to the heart.” (Acts 2: 37) They cry out, “Brother, what shall we do?” (Acts 2: 37) Peter tells them, “Repent and be baptized every one of you in the Name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins, and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. For the promise is for you and for your children and for all who are far off, everyone whom the Lord our God calls to Himself.” (Acts 2: 38 – 39)

God calls you to repentance; He commands you to be baptized and to receive the Holy Spirit. And now, why do you wait?