The first words I remember reading from the Bible, at the age of seventeen, was John 1:1-5. I was in between seeking God and meeting the Savior, and had been given a Bible for my birthday.
So, I read…
“In the beginning was the Word. And the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. And through Him, all things were made. Without Him, nothing was made that has been made. And in Him was life and that life was the light of men. The light shines in the darkness, but the darkness has not understood it.” (John 1:1-5)
My eyes of understanding were dim, as I tried to connect the dots of Jesus being the Living Word. I was in desperate need of a new life and really hoped that what I was reading was true.
I remember wondering what would prevent the darkness from understanding the light.
Perhaps, it was because people had lived in the darkness so long, their eyes had adjusted, making it impossible for them to withstand the brilliant light of Jesus. Or, maybe the pure, honest light of the Messiah was just too uncomfortable.
But then, I read about Saul, who later became Paul. He was so steeped in darkness, he hated everything about Jesus and His followers. Saul not only approved of Christians being imprisoned, he sought them out. In his own words, he was “exceedingly enraged” against them. (Acts 26:11)
That was a dark place to be.
On his path of darkness, Saul could not comprehend the Savior.
A light from heaven, brighter than the sun, shone all around him. (Acts 26:13)
Saul and his companions fell to the ground. Imagine a light so brilliant and a Presence so consuming, your feet would be swept right out from underneath you!
Imagine a light so brilliant and a Presence so consuming, your feet would be swept right out from underneath you! #Acts 26:13-14 Click To Tweet
Then, Jesus changed the course of Saul’s life with this incredible calling:
But rise and stand on your feet; for I have appeared to you for this purpose, to make you a minister and a witness both of the things which you have seen and of the things which I will yet reveal to you. I will deliver you from the Jewish people, as well as from the Gentiles, to whom I now send you, to open their eyes, in order to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan to God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins and an inheritance among those who are sanctified by faith in Me. (Acts 26:16-18)
Sisters, this was no ordinary conversion.
This wasn’t a single “light bulb” moment, it was an “every-lightbulb-in-the-whole-world-shining-at-once” moment. Murderous, non-believing Saul was stopped in his tracks and transformed instantly. There was no turning back.
As I look back on my seeking days, I can now see how God ordered my experiences to lead up to the day when I would be confronted with my own sin and the need for a Savior. He allowed me to exhaust every attempt to fulfill what only He could. No achievement, no success, no person, was going to be enough. All of my striving for love, acceptance, and recognition had done nothing but worn me out.
Oh, how I needed a Savior!
God allowed me to exhaust every attempt to fulfill what only He could. #OnlyGodCanFulfill Click To Tweet
That is what gives me hope today.
For those I love, who do not know the Savior, who do not yet recognize their need for God, I have hope. Even though the Light shines in the darkness, but the darkness does not comprehend it, there is still hope!
That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked upon, and our hands have handled, concerning the Word of life—the life was manifested, and we have seen, and bear witness, and declare to you that eternal life which was with the Father and was manifested to us–that which we have seen and heard we declare to you, that you also may have fellowship with us; and truly our fellowship is with the Father and with His Son Jesus Christ. And these things we write to you that your joy may be full. (1 John 1: 1-4)
Who, in your life, needs to hear these words today? Are they seeking but not yet understanding? Who is on a path of destruction and desperately needs a “Saul moment”?
Be encouraged. Let Paul’s example be a great source of hope. For even the most murderous rejecter of Jesus was transformed by the perfect Light.
Let’s make this our prayer for everyone who desperately needs the Savior.
Let’s pray that they will be overcome by the unmistakable brilliance of Jesus’ true identity–the Light of the World.
How can I pray for your loved ones today?
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