If you saw her backstage you never would have imagined that she would become a superstar. She walked out on the stage in an old-fashioned dress. Slightly messed up hair. She seemed a little too old and odd for the competition. But the moment she began to sin on Britain's Got Talent she took the world by storm. By the final note she was receiving a standing ovation from the crowd and the usually very critical Simon Cowell gave his approval. The video of Susan Boyle's performance immediately hit YouTube and within a week had been viewed 66 million times.
You probably would never have picked him either. One first century writing describes him this way: “Bald-headed, bowlegged, strongly built, with meeting eyebrows, and a rather large nose.” 1
Appearances aside, he had been spending his days with a singular purpose: persecuting Christians. Pulling them from their houses; throwing them in prison; even having some killed.
And yet God chose him to take His story to the Gentiles. Jesus arranged a face-to-face meeting with Saul while he was on his way to Damascus to persecute His followers (Acts 9). On that road, Jesus turned on the high beam lights and Saul began to see the light. And by the end of the encounter his name is changed from Saul to Paul as he is given a new purpose and a new lease on life.
The rest is history. Paul, a Jew, took the gospel message to the Gentiles. Paul, the “chief of sinners” spoke as a gracious firsthand recipient of God’s mercy. Paul, the well-schooled expert on the Law, became the most outspoken voice for the principle of grace.
And aren’t you glad he did? Most of us would not know Christ, had Paul not traveled the world telling others about Him. And most of us would not know Christ, if some modern-day “Paul” not walked across the street, the cubicle or the classroom to introduce Him to us.
Susan’s look changed. So did Paul’s. The description of Paul ends by saying he was “. . . full of grace,
God wants to use YOU, to take His message to your world. Your street. Your workplace. Your school. Your family. You might not think He’d choose you either. But you might just need to think again, no matter your appearance. Why? Because YOU are the church!
Chapter 30 here we come! Hope to see you on Sunday!
Pastor Tim Asbill Jr.