Scripture Reading: Acts 9:10-19
“But the Lord said to him (Ananias), ‘God for he (Saul) is a chosen instrument of Mine to carry My name before the Gentiles and kings and the children of Israel. For I will show him how much he must suffer for the sake of My name.’” (Acts 9:15,16)
When the Lord called Ananias to go to Saul, he was afraid and reluctant: “Lord, I have heard from many about this man, how much evil he has done to Your saints at Jerusalem, and how he has authority from the chief priests to bind all who call on Your name” (vs. 13,14). The Lord told Ananias that Saul was His chosen instrument to carry the name of Christ to the Gentiles.
What stands out to me is Saul’s unworthiness to be a chosen instrument of Christ. Look at all he did to bring pain and persecution on the early believers. Saul openly opposed the gospel; yet when Christ’s power came upon him, Saul was a changed man. John Calvin said of Paul: “God’s wonderful hand was openly shone, not only in such a cruel wolf being turned into sheep, but also in his assuming the character of a shepherd.”
Throughout all of the Apostle Paul’s ministry, he knew his unworthiness. He called himself “the chief of all sinners” (I Timothy 1:15) and “the least of all the apostles” (I Corinthians 15:9). Paul remained a humble man for the rest of his life.
Yet, Paul was “the chosen instrument” of Christ to take the message of the gospel to the Gentiles, to kings and to the children of Israel (v. 15). God powerfully moved in the mind and heart of Saul of Tarsus. He brought him to his knees and reached out to him in love and forgiveness.
Do you see the gospel at work in Paul’s life? We all are a lot worse off than we think we are, but we are more loved and accepted than we ever dreamed possible because of Jesus’ work on our behalf. The gospel humbles us and comforts us at the same time. It leads to deep brokenness on the one hand and yet we experience unconditional love and acceptance on the other hand.
All of us are Christ’s chosen instruments. He chose us before the foundation of the world (Ephesians 1:4) and He has a unique plan for each or our lives. God takes failed, broken people and turns them into trophies of His grace. Then He uses them to accomplish His purposes here on earth. Let’s be open and sensitive to God’s plan for each of us. No one is too unworthy. No one is too lost to be redeemed. This is the hope and power of the gospel!
Lord Jesus, I know my unworthiness to be one of your chosen instruments. But I also know the power of Your grace and love. Thank you that You redeemed me and made me Your own. I know I am Your chosen instrument. Let me be sensitive to hear Your voice this day.
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