Daily Devotion #2

You Don't Know Me NOW
 
' "Is not this the carpenter, the son of Mary, and brother of James and Joses and Judas and Simon? Are not His sisters here with us?" And they took offense at Him.'  Mark 6:3
 
I'm going to bed but I had to finish this.  My own personal devotion mentioned this today, actually the reference in Matthew.  But its so relevant, because I am not the person I used to be, not in high school, college, last year, last month, last week or even yesterday. As living beings, we are in a constant, ever-changing state. Anyone who is in Christ becomes a new person, born of His glory.
 
I am not the same Marquita.  Through countless trials and situations, I have become a different person.  Therefore, you cannot hold me to things I did before, you cannot assume that I still like the same things, you cannot believe that I think the same.
 
Take Paul for example.  He was one of the BIGGEST persecutors of Christians ever mentioned.  Saul, as was his name before, used to go around to the synagogues and "wrangle up" Jews that believed in Christ and deliver them for imprisonment and execution.  Christians had to hide and live in secret places.  They could not worship God publicly. When I visited Turkey, I got to walk through part of one of their underground cities in Cappadocia.  Can you imagine living UNDERGROUND so that you can freely practice your faith?  Constantly hiding and fearing for your life, unless you were caught?
 
Here in Acts 9:21 the Jews we baffled at his preaching and zest for Christ:  'All those hearing him continued to be amazed, and were saying, "Is this not he who in Jerusalem destroyed those who called on this name, and who had come here for the purpose of bringing them bound before the chief priests?"'  Then he himself says in Galatians 1:13-14 of his former life:  "You heard about the way I once lived when I followed the Jewish religion. You heard how I violently persecuted God's church and tried to destroy it. You also heard how I was far ahead of other Jews in my age group in following the Jewish religion. I had become that fanatical for the traditions of my ancestors."  But then the most important part–the part that matters is this: "But God, who appointed me before I was born and who called me by his kindness, was pleased to show me his Son. He did this so that I would tell people who are not Jewish that his Son is the Good News…" Galatians 1:15-16  And because people did not know the new Saul also known as Paul anymore, they still went back to his past.  But because he was a convert, because Jesus himself intervened and revealed Himself to Paul, many were brought to Christ and gave Him the glory. 'The only thing they kept hearing was this: "The man who used to persecute us is now proclaiming the faith he once tried to destroy!". Galatians 1:23 Because if God can change the very person that tried to and succeeded in killing His followers, then turn around and use him to bring others to Christ, what can God do for you!
 
You don't know me anymore.  There is a new me.
 
"So they kept glorifying God for what had happened to me."  Galatians 1:24
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