"But God..." (Redeemed by Grace)
Bible Passage: Galatians 1:11-24
We’ve all seen before and after pictures — home makeovers, lost weight, new stylish haircuts, our kids growing up (literally, how do they grow taller than us so fast?) — or a fuddy duddy ol’ window frame unbelievably changed into a majestic mosaic masterpiece by our very own artist Rebecca Jacobson.* Well, you get the picture, in more ways than one. The transformation is remarkable, often times breathtaking.
Such is the picture we see in Galatians 1.
BEFORE: Saul had orchestrated the deaths of Christians, an ancient version of a terrorist, taking believers into custody and spilling their blood, doing everything he could to destroy the church. In addition, Saul was a legalist to the core. He spent a lifetime, living by man’s gospel, trying to save himself. His salvation depended on his perfection, on his performance. He had blood on his hands and religious diplomas on his wall.
AFTER: And then the Damascus road moment happens. Two words: “But God…” Saul’s rebellious heart was no barrier to God’s redemptive grace. Jesus appears. And everything changes. Even his name. Saul, the persecutor of the church becomes Paul, the great defender and builder of the church — taking the One True Gospel to everyone. All through the grace of God.
No one is beyond the reach of God. No matter where you’ve been or what you’ve done, turn to God. Our Great Redeemer will utterly transform your life. Paul is proof. (adapted from Mickey Lohr and Max Lucado)
*Artwork: Summer Sanctuary by Rebecca Bell Jacobson at Apple Valley Arts. See more of her fine art at applevalleyarts.com