Thursday, October 13, 2022

When the Hunter Became the Hunted

But what things were gain to me, these I have counted loss for Christ. Yet indeed I also count all things loss for the excellence of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them as rubbish, that I may gain Christ. (Philippians 3:7-8 NLT)

There’s a town in North Carolina called Mocksville, and I should have been born there. That’s because before I became a Christian, I loved to mock other people. But after I gave my life to Christ, I was shocked when people started mocking me. They were laughing at me because of my faith in Jesus Christ.

Before he was a follower of Christ, the apostle Paul was probably the most prideful man around, filled with himself and his accomplishments, knowledge, and skills. But in time, he came to be filled with humility.

Immediately after Paul’s conversion, he began preaching the gospel in Damascus. He was so powerful and persuasive that the religious leaders wanted to kill him. When the Christians heard about this, they hatched a plan to smuggle him out of the city. They put him in a basket and lowered it over the city walls at night.

Think of the irony of the situation. Just a short time earlier, he was Saul of Tarsus, with an entourage and special orders from the high priest to arrest and execute Christians. But, as the newly converted Paul, he found himself being lowered over the city wall in a basket.

Paul’s name before he became a Christian gives us insight into what his life was like then. Saul was the name of Israel’s first king. It was a respected and powerful name. But, as a Christian, he took the name Paul, which means “little.” This was like changing your name from Spike to Squirt. It showed that Paul had become a man of humility. The hunter had become the hunted. The man who persecuted others was being persecuted himself.

Yet God had transformed Paul. God would use him powerfully, but first, He had to prepare him. The Lord thus humbled Paul and made him ready for the task ahead.

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