As many of you get dressed up this Halloween, some of your costumes will be funny, others a fantasy and a few will probably be a little scary.
When I think of Halloween I can think of some scary stuff.
Ghost, goblins and the fear of a black cat crossing your path. Come on now, you know that’s scared you since you were a kid. Even when it isn’t Halloween, I’m looking hard when I see a set of cat eyes in the darkness, I’m looking to see if it’s black.
Moving right along …
What’s your worst nightmare?
I’ll tell you what mine is: running into the man that I could have become had Christ not called me out of the miry pit and into the light.
I don’t even want to begin to imagine what my life might look like had He not intervened and saved me from myself. But then again, on second thought, we should look back. It is by looking back that we see the man or woman that we once were and the person that we are now. It is in that moment of reflection that we have the greatest understanding of what grace really is. We realize the person that He is molding and making us into. To be more like His son, Jesus.
It’s a sobering experience.
Quickly, I want us to take a look at someone in the Bible. A man named Saul.
In Acts 8:3, under the heading of “Saul Ravages the Church,” Luke penned the following words under the direction of the Holy Spirit.
“But Saul was ravaging the church, and entering house after house, he dragged off men and women and committed them to prison.”
Does Saul sound familiar? If not, there is somebody who has a similar name in the Bible. Think about it for a second. After meeting Jesus on that ole Damascus Road (Acts 9) his life was forever changed.
How was his life changed? Well as we read into Acts 9, the Bible says, “And immediately he (Saul) proclaimed Jesus in the synagogues, saying, “He is the Son of God.” (v20)
It goes on to say in verses 21 and 22, “And all who heard him were amazed and said, ‘Is not this the man who made havoc in Jerusalem of those who called upon this name? And has he not come here for this purpose, to bring them bound before the chief priests?’ But Saul increased all the more in strength, and confounded the Jews who lived in Damascus by proving that Jesus was the Christ.”
A few thoughts: (1) There isn’t anybody that God cannot save. (2) Christ personally meets each of where we are. (3) What does it say Saul immediately did? He was proclaiming Jesus. (v20) And once you’ve had an encounter with Jesus you should do the same. (4) Lastly, not only did Christ meet him where he was, he changed his life, he changed his mission, but He also changed his name!
This man named Saul is better known to us today as Paul. He penned the majority of the New Testament. Paul — through the inspiration of the Holy Spirit — has been challenging Christians for almost 2,000 years.
In closing, think back on Paul. What would have happened had Christ not met him? Can you imagine the countless Christians (followers of the Way, which is what followers of Christ were first called *that’s a free nugget) that he would have beaten, dragged to jail and murdered along the way. BUT GOD!
So as you enter this Halloween weekend, I want you to think about how the grace of God has changed you!
If you’ve never personally met Christ, well just call out to Him.
I’d be glad to chat with you or you can find another Christian or pastor and strike up a conversation with them. Relationships begin with conversation.
As you look back, thank God for all He has done. Oh and guess what? You’ll be one step ahead of the game as He prepares your heart for this Thanksgiving and Christmas season.
As my grandfather would close his correspondences from time to time …
(Thanks Gramps for this little nugget).
A man for whom Christ died!
1 Cor 15:58