1. Unlikely person chosen of God to save - v. 1-9
From the title of this point we see that the person in the scripture we are going to talk about is an unlikely person for God to save. Why is that so?
Have you ever heard someone say, “If there ever was a person who couldn’t get saved, that man is one?” Sometimes I have heard preachers say that they had gone to a church to do a revival and the preacher will say, “We have a guy in our town who is so terrible that no one believes that God can save him. He doesn’t believe in God and has a drinking habit and runs around on his wife and doesn’t take care of his family like a father should. No one believes he will ever come to God.” Sometimes they will add, “We have given up on trying to reach him, so you might as well forget trying to get him to come to the revival.”
Isn’t that a sad statement from a pastor or just anyone. They have given up on a person that Jesus loves and died for. I understand, humanly, what they are saying but that doesn’t make it any better? Do you know of someone like that, that you may have said those same things about, or you have heard others say that about them?
Has God ever given up on someone? In reading a devotion this week from the Billy Graham book called “Wisdom for Each Day,” Billy Graham says, talking about people who have been praying for a loved one for years and years, that people wrote to him telling them that eventually that person they had been praying for came to faith in Jesus. Now, those folks might not have been the worst person around, just someone who was lost and needed someone to pray for them. Billy was saying in relation to the idea of continuing praying for those who are lost, that our timing and our ways are not God’s and that God rarely matches ours. He was saying that God can do what we can’t do. Just like those old drunks or the worst people in town that people think can’t get saved, God can do anything but that we need to continue to pray and not give up. No one is hopeless and only God can save, He can break through that old hard heart. Billy used Jeremiah 23:29, “Is not My Word...like a hammer that breaks a rock in pieces?” And then Billy asks, “For whom are you praying? Keep it up”
Are there people you have been praying for that just don't seem to change or listen to you or you don’t think that God is getting through? God is not you or me, He can do whatever He desires in a time frame that He knows is best. What should we do? Keep on praying for them, Billy says, God will answer your prayer in His time. 2 Peter 3:9, “The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. Instead he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.”
The person you are praying for may be an unlikely person chosen by God to save!
The Bible suggests that Saul was the most unlikely person chosen of God to save. He was a murderer and a hater of the people of “the Way.” He went as far as to get letters from the high priest to present to the synagogues in Damascus to arrest the followers of Christ and take them back to Jerusalem and put them in prison.
So, Saul is on his way, with others with him, to go to Damascus and something happens that changes his life. It is almost like both Lee Strobel and Josh McDowell, they went about to disprove Christianity and that the resurrection was false but they were confronted with the truth as they “were on their way.”
Jesus showed up!! A bright light shone from heaven during the midday and Saul was knocked off his horse to the ground and he heard a voice calling to him, the voice said, “Saul, Saul, why do you persecute me?” 5 “Who are you, Lord?” Saul asked.
“I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting,” he replied. 6 “Now get up and go into the city, and you will be told what you must do.”
Before Saul realized what was going on He was confronted by Jesus, the One who was the leader of those he sought to harm. It was a short and to the point conversation that Jesus had with this persecutor of the Christians. But Jesus didn’t say that Saul was persecuting the followers of Christ but of Christ Himself! This was the resurrected Jesus speaking to an unlikely man who hated what was happening to the Jewish religion by this sect founded upon Jesus who His followers claimed was resurrected from the dead after being crucified and dying and being buried.
Jesus then told Saul to go into Damascus and wait there until he was told what to do.
Do you know of some unlikely person whom God has called to be saved and then serve Him in His cause for the Kingdom?
Have you been praying for someone just like that? Are there people in your realm of friendship that might be an unlikely candidate to be saved and serve Christ?
Could that person be your ONE?
Are you unwilling to call out to God a person's name because you don’t think they are worthy to serve the Lord?
Little did Mike Adkins know, when he moved into his new house, that one of his new neighbors was "Weird Norman," the old eccentric every town seems to have. His first encounter with Norman confirmed that he was a strange character, to say the least. In the years that followed, however, the two men developed a warm and unusual friendship. And God used Norman to teach Mike what it means to obey one of the great commandments of Scripture: Love your neighbor as yourself. Mike also learned a simple trust in the Lord that was to change the whole course of his life. Through this story from Mike Adkins he tells of the salvation of Norman and how his life was changed too.
Who would have ever thought that “Weird Nortman” would ever be saved and have a worthy life?
Do you know any “Weird Normans?”