He wasn’t much to look at, some sources say. By his own admission, he wasn’t much to listen to, lacking eloquence. He wrote profusely, preached powerfully, and vigorously played the part of a fiery little man.
This highly educated Hebrew scholar named Saul, Saint Paul, the Apostle Paul, ultimately wrote approximately 28% of the New Testament in the Christian Bible.
Did I say fiery? Ravaging the early Christians, persecuting them, throwing them into prison, Saul approved of and aided in their murder. While breathing threats against Jesus’ followers and traveling to Damascus to indict them, a blinding light flashed from heaven, forcing him to his knees. “Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting me?” The voice reverberated in Saul’s ears as he cried out, “Who are you, Lord?” His cry admitted, “I know that voice.”
Saul soon morphed to Paul as Jesus turned that fiery little man around, igniting a different fire in his soul. This fire now burned in favor of the One he once persecuted and against those who set themselves against Jesus.
God used this fiery little man to carry his message we call the Gospel, “Good News.” Paul chose to love and to follow Jesus and led others to follow Jesus, men and women from across Asia Minor as Paul traveled through parts of modern-day Turkey, Greece, Syria, and Israel.
While Paul’s message of salvation caused many to follow Jesus, others turned against him. Surviving threats, shipwreck, storms, stoning, beatings, and imprisonment, Paul remained steadfast, strongly encouraging new believers, strongly condemning those who attempted to destroy the Church.
Got fire? For whom does your fire burn? God invites you to embrace that same good news, to love that same Jesus, to share that same message, and to encourage the weary and warn the wayward. Let it burn!