Saul of Tarsus was a persecutor of Christians, those who believed in and followed Jesus. He became the Apostle Paul. Paul as an apostle was a mighty man of God. He spoke the word of God among his own people, the Jews, and into foreign lands to the Gentile people who did not know the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. They were not looking for the promised Messiah to deliver them. He had to teach them of the one true God, about creation, the fall of man into sin, and of the promised Redeemer who would forgive their sins, He showed them that Jesus Christ is the Messiah, who provides eternal life. That provision was made on the cross when Jesus shed his blood to wash away our sins. He let them know that by believing in and receiving Jesus as Savior and Lord they would have eternal life, and be saved from eternal torment in hell and separation from God forever. John 3:36 “He who believes in the Son has eternal life; but he who does not obey the Son will not see life, but the wrath of God abides on him.”
But let’s go back to when Jesus appeared to Saul. It was on the road to Damascus when Saul was on a mission to persecute and arrest Christians. Earlier he held the coats of the men who stoned the first Christian martyr, Stephen. (See Acts 7. verses 54-60 tells the part where Saul gets involved). Then we see Paul began to persecute Christians in Acts 8:1 “And on that day a great persecution began against the church in Jerusalem, and they were all scattered throughout the regions of Judea and Samaria, except the apostles. (2) Some devout men buried Stephen, and made loud lamentation over him. (3) But Saul began ravaging the church, entering house after house, and dragging off men and women, he would put them in prison.”
We can read about Saul meeting Jesus in Acts 9:1-31 “Then Saul, still breathing threats and murder against the disciples of the Lord, went to the high priest (2) and asked letters from him to the synagogues of Damascus, so that if he found any who were of the Way, whether men or women, he might bring them bound to Jerusalem. (3) As he journeyed he came near Damascus, and suddenly a light shone around him from heaven. (4) Then he fell to the ground, and heard a voice saying to him, “Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting Me?” (5) And he said, “Who are You, Lord?” Then the Lord said, “I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting. It is hard for you to kick against the goads.” (6) So he, trembling and astonished, said, “Lord, what do You want me to do?” Then the Lord said to him, “Arise and go into the city, and you will be told what you must do.” (7) And the men who journeyed with him stood speechless, hearing a voice but seeing no one. (8) Then Saul arose from the ground, and when his eyes were opened he saw no one. But they led him by the hand and brought him into Damascus. (9) And he was three days without sight, and neither ate nor drank. (Ananias Baptizes Saul) (10) Now there was a certain disciple at Damascus named Ananias; and to him the Lord said in a vision, “Ananias.” And he said, “Here I am, Lord.” (11) So the Lord said to him, “Arise and go to the street called Straight, and inquire at the house of Judas for one called Saul of Tarsus, for behold, he is praying. (12) And in a vision he has seen a man named Ananias coming in and putting his hand on him, so that he might receive his sight.” (13) Then Ananias answered, “Lord, I have heard from many about this man, how much harm he has done to Your saints in Jerusalem. (14) And here he has authority from the chief priests to bind all who call on Your name.” (15) But the Lord said to him, “Go, for he is a chosen vessel of Mine to bear My name before Gentiles, kings, and the children of Israel. (16) For I will show him how many things he must suffer for My name’s sake.” (17) And Ananias went his way and entered the house; and laying his hands on him he said, “Brother Saul, the Lord Jesus, who appeared to you on the road as you came, has sent me that you may receive your sight and be filled with the Holy Spirit.” (18) Immediately there fell from his eyes something like scales, and he received his sight at once; and he arose and was baptized. (19) So when he had received food, he was strengthened. Then Saul spent some days with the disciples at Damascus. (Saul Preaches Christ) (20) Immediately he preached the Christ in the synagogues, that He is the Son of God. (21) Then all who heard were amazed, and said, “Is this not he who destroyed those who called on this name in Jerusalem, and has come here for that purpose, so that he might bring them bound to the chief priests?” (22) But Saul increased all the more in strength, and confounded the Jews who dwelt in Damascus, proving that this Jesus is the Christ. (Saul Escapes Death) (23) Now after many days were past, the Jews plotted to kill him. (24) But their plot became known to Saul. And they watched the gates day and night, to kill him. (25) Then the disciples took him by night and let him down through the wall in a large basket. (Saul at Jerusalem) (26) And when Saul had come to Jerusalem, he tried to join the disciples; but they were all afraid of him, and did not believe that he was a disciple. (27) But Barnabas took him and brought him to the apostles. And he declared to them how he had seen the Lord on the road, and that He had spoken to him, and how he had preached boldly at Damascus in the name of Jesus. (28) So he was with them at Jerusalem, coming in and going out. (29) And he spoke boldly in the name of the Lord Jesus and disputed against the Hellenists, but they attempted to kill him. (30) When the brethren found out, they brought him down to Caesarea and sent him out to Tarsus. (The Church Prospers) (31) Then the churches throughout all Judea, Galilee, and Samaria had peace and were edified. And walking in the fear of the Lord and in the comfort of the Holy Spirit, they were multiplied.”
So we see that Saul was chosen by Jesus to be an apostle and a bold messenger for Jesus. And Saul asked, “Who are You? And What am I to do?” His name was changed to Paul. Paul suffered many hardships in his assignment to preach and teach the gospel of Jesus Christ to the world. Paul wrote much of the New Testament in the Bible. You can read about his travels and how he endured much persecution and hardships in the assignment Jesus gave him to minister in I and II Corinthians, Romans, Galatians, Ephesians, Colossians, I and II Thessalonians, I and II Timothy, Titus, and Philemon. You can also read about his victories in and out of trials. God brought Paul through hard challenges many times to defeat the plans of the devil and of his accusers and abusers.
Paul finished his ministry and fulfilled his purpose after he asked two questions to Jesus: “Who are You? And What am I to do?” Then when Jesus told him what to do, Paul was obedient, and we still benefit today for Paul’s obedience to do what Jesus said to do. It is a blessing to do what Jesus says to do, both for yourself and for others.
Multitudes of people since those day-millions upon millions- have had the same opportunity to ask Jesus these two questions. The answer to these two questions will determine your destiny both-now and for eternity.
Once you understand who Jesus is, you must make a decision. Receive Him, accept Him, invite Him into your heart and life or reject Him. I encourage you to receive Jesus as Savior now. John 1:12-13 “But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name: (13) who were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.” Once you receive Jesus He will give you an assignment. That is to honor the Father, serve Him, be led by the Holy Spirit, walk in love and serve others. One assignment he gives to all Christians is in Matthew 5:16 “Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.”
I believe God respects honesty, so honestly ask Jesus these two questions and get ready for the life of adventure that God has awaiting for you. Ask Jesus: “Who are You? And What am I to do?” Then go do what he leads you to do. The blessings come from obedience when we do the Lord’s will. It will change your life. It will be exciting. He will not leave you alone to complete the task. He has given the Holy Spirit to lead us, guide us, protect us, equip us, and give us boldness to be a witness for Jesus in the earth. Ask Jesus to baptize you in the Holy Spirit for power to be an over comer in life and a bold witness for Him. Acts 1:8 “But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.” Know this –we will have battles and challenges. But we will go through them with God on our side. We will win in life! Expect to bring others to know Jesus as Savior and Lord. Expect God to use you. Expect signs, wonders, and miracles. Expect God’s Presence and peace in your life.
Do what Jesus did and do what Jesus says to do. Jesus is Lord!
Receive Jesus today. He died for you to forgive your sins and to make a way for you to be with Him in heaven. His blood shed on the cross washes away your sins. He will give you abundant life. He will bless you now and for eternity. Turn from your sins and turn to Jesus to be your Savior and Lord. Pray and mean this with your heart: Dear God I am a sinner. I need You, and I ask You to forgive me. I turn from my sins to You. I receive your Son, Jesus, now to be my Savior and the Lord of my life. Thank You for eternal life. Thank You that now I can call God my Father. Holy Spirit, help me to live a life pleasing to my Father in heaven. Jesus, baptize me, fill me with the Holy Spirit for power to be an over comer in life and honor the Father with my life. I pray I can lead others to You also with my words and by my example. I desire to live for You Jesus. Show me what to do now and everyday..-In Jesus Name I pray. Read Romans 3:10, 3:23, 5:8-9, 6:23, 10:9-10, 13; John 3:16; Acts 1:8, Acts 2:38.
Cowboy Partners: I encourage all of our Cowboy Partners to get in the Word and read and grow in Christ. Cowboy Partners are those who send in finances to keep the Word of God being preached and published among the cowboys and others we meet along the way. You are welcome to become a Cowboy Partner with us in finances, prayers, and helps when possible. People will glorify God because of your obedience to get His word to the nations. II Cor 9:11 “ you will be enriched in everything for all liberality, which through us is producing thanksgiving to God.” And verse (13) “Because of the proof given by this ministry, they will glorify God for your obedience to your confession of the gospel of Christ and for the liberality of your contribution to them and to all…”
Service: What about your group? Is there anything that we can do for you? Let us know.
Ronnie Christian, Phil 4:19