Saved for Others
God, I thank You for the good news of the Gospel and for those who’ve faithfully taught it to me.
Read Galatians 1:11-24
 I want you to know, brothers and sisters, that the gospel I preached is not of human origin.  I did not receive it from any man, nor was I taught it; rather, I received it by revelation from Jesus Christ.  For you have heard of my previous way of life in Judaism, how intensely I persecuted the church of God and tried to destroy it.  I was advancing in Judaism beyond many of my own age among my people and was extremely zealous for the traditions of my fathers.  But when God, who set me apart from my mother’s womb and called me by his grace, was pleased  to reveal his Son in me so that I might preach him among the Gentiles, my immediate response was not to consult any human being.  I did not go up to Jerusalem to see those who were apostles before I was, but I went into Arabia. Later I returned to Damascus.  Then after three years, I went up to Jerusalem to get acquainted with Cephas and stayed with him fifteen days.  I saw none of the other apostles-only James, the Lord’s brother.  I assure you before God that what I am writing you is no lie.  Then I went to Syria and Cilicia.  I was personally unknown to the churches of Judea that are in Christ.  They only heard the report: “The man who formerly persecuted us is now preaching the faith he once tried to destroy.”  And they praised God because of me. Scripture taken from the Holy Bible, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 International Bible Society. All rights reserved throughout the world. Used by permission of International Bible Society.
ReflectHow did Paul say he came by the Gospel message?
Paul’s conversion is a dramatic testament to God’s grace. Proud of his own self-righteousness and ability (14) and persecuting the church, in human terms he seemed the least likely person to be saved. But God had already decided that Paul would belong to him (15) and by his undeserved grace, radically turned his life around. Now Paul boasts only in what God has graciously done for him and acknowledges his efforts are for God’s glory alone. Whereas before he wanted to persecute the church, now he’s filled with a new passion to preach the Gospel and to plant and strengthen churches. The point is that salvation is not simply for its own sake. Throughout Paul’s letters, we read his conviction that he was saved in order that others might be saved. God’s plan wasn’t simply for Paul’s blessing, but also to give him a new purpose. We, like Paul, are called to be part of God’s eternal mission of glorifying his name. You might feel like the least likely to be used by God, but Paul’s story shows that God loves to use unlikely people, so that others might praise him for his grace (24).
Praise God for his transforming power in you. Pray that you might see more of how God is using you to transform your world.
Lord, just as You used Paul, I pray You will bless me so I can be a blessing to others.
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