the ideal day to let it all go.
“Brethren, I do not regard myself as having laid hold of it yet; but one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and reaching forward to what lies ahead…” Philippians 3:13 NASB
There is probably no better example of God’s ability to transform a person’s life than the example of Saul’s transformation to Paul. As Saul, he stood by and watched the coats of the men who stoned Stephen to death.
“When they had driven him out of the city, they began stoning him; and the witnesses laid aside their robes at the feet of a young man named Saul.” (Acts 7:58 NASB).
Following Stephen’s death, Saul was a dedicated persecutor of anyone proclaiming to be a follower of Christ. After his encounter with Jesus, Saul… now Paul… would go on to be second only to Christ Himself in importance to Christianity.
“Who are You, Lord?’ Saul asked. ‘I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting,’ He replied.” (Acts 9:5 NIV).
Talk about a wake up call.
Hopefully, none of us has been as bad as Saul, but many of us have done things that we are ashamed of and some of us may find it difficult to let go of the past so that we can move forward. This is, in fact, a common struggle, especially for those who have good hearts and are essentially kind, gentle souls. Those who have hardened hearts are not nearly as troubled as those who do not.
Regardless of where any of us fits in, each one of us has a part to play in the transformation of humanity.
If you have sinned and have trouble moving forward, you must study closely the transformation of Paul. If God can overlook his past and use him as His most ardent supporter, then surely He can overlook anything you or I have done. God’s forgiveness knows no boundaries or limitations. If we confess our sins and repent, He forgives us.
Those who think they have lived decent Christian lives and have had a good relationship with God through Jesus Christ, must encourage, support, and forgive those who are trying to find their way to the Lord, for we are all sinners. Far too many of us look at another individual’s transformation with skepticism, cynicism, and doubt. We must remind ourselves that if God can forgive and fill someone with His spirit, who are we to doubt, ridicule, or stand in the way?
And all of us must pray for God to work to soften the hearts of those whose hearts are hardened and resisting transformation. We must all work to let it all go so we can move forward on the path God wants us to walk.
Taken from “TODAY IS….A Gift From God”, (C) 2013 Tony Casson