“Who are you, Lord?” Saul asked. “I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting,” he replied. (Acts 9:5)
Who was Robert Mugabe? The former president of Zimbabwe was a persecutor of his own people. He was a man of violence. When I lived in Zimbabwe, he staged car “accidents” for those who did not obey him. He jailed those who opposed him. Without restitution, he took the farms of white Zimbabweans and gave them to the local Shona people. He was responsible for economic mismanagement, government corruption, and crimes against humanity.
Who was Saul? He was a man of violence who persecuted his own people, the Jews. Saul was prejudiced and sought jail sentences for all who followed the Way. Jesus spoke to Saul and asked him the reasons for his persecution, but Saul answered with another question, “Who are you Lord?” Jesus told Saul, “I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting.”
Saul (renamed Paul) later wrote in 1 Timothy 1:13–14, “Even though I was once a blasphemer and a persecutor and a violent man, I was shown mercy because I acted in ignorance and unbelief. The grace of our Lord was poured out on me abundantly, along with the faith and love that are in Christ Jesus.”
Who are you? While your conversion may or may not be so dramatic as Saul’s, God can use you and reshape your life to bring God glory, just as he did with Saul. He can make us humble and useful servants.
Reshape my way of life, Lord, to bring you glory.
Linda Valente, a nurse practitioner, is the wife Wesleyan pastor Frank Valente. They have served together with Wesleyan Native American Ministries, as missionaries to Africa, and now as grandparents of three.
© 2022 Wesleyan Publishing House. Reprinted from Light from the Word. Used by permission. Scriptures taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV®.