I am firmly of the opinion that we don’t do enough of ‘Telling our Story’ in church. Unless we know someone really well, and not always then, we don’t know where they’ve come from, what has made them how they are. Maybe it’s just my natural nosiness, sorry interest in people, but I love to hear people’s stories, and I think we can find a lot of strength and support from sharing them.
How Paul Became an Apostle
11 My friends, I want you to know that no one made up the message I preach. 12 It wasn’t given or taught to me by some mere human. My message came directly from Jesus Christ when he appeared to me.
13 You know how I used to live as a Jew. I was cruel to God’s church and even tried to destroy it. 14 I was a much better Jew than anyone else my own age, and I obeyed every law that our ancestors had given us. 15 But even before I was born, God had chosen me. He was kind and had decided 16 to show me his Son, so that I would announce his message to the Gentiles. I didn’t talk this over with anyone. 17 I didn’t say a word, not even to the men in Jerusalem who were apostles before I was. Instead, I went at once to Arabia, and afterwards I returned to Damascus.
18 Three years later I went to visit Peter in Jerusalem and stayed with him for fifteen days. 19 The only other apostle I saw was James, the Lord’s brother. 20 And in the presence of God I swear I am telling the truth.
21 Later, I went to the regions of Syria and Cilicia. 22 But no one who belonged to Christ’s churches in Judea had ever seen me in person. 23 They had only heard that the one who had been cruel to them was now preaching the message that he had once tried to destroy. 24 And because of me, they praised God.
I’m sure Paul’s reputation had gone before him. People would have known some of his story. Maybe he is wanting to make sure they’ve heard his version… He wants them to know his credentials for coming to them and sharing God’s message.
Here he lays out how it was. That he used to be the most stringent of Jews, obeying all the laws to the utmost – but that was nothing – until he met God’s son.
Paul is called, he realises, to bring God’s message to the Gentiles. To take Him beyond the Jewish world.
His story is of one who was once so anti-Christianity and all it stood for – and now he is here to tell them how true it is. If he can discover that from the place he was, then anyone can.
What a powerful story Paul tells. In telling it he not only not only shares about God, but also encourages the people of Galatia.
So what is our story? Yours and mine? Where have we come from? What have we been through? How has God spoken to us? How has he called us and used us?
How can we share that with others, to encourage and support one another?
Thank you Lord
that we all have a story
of how you came to us,
and equipped us.
that whatever our experiences
we have something to share.
take my story,
and may I speak for you