Acts 8:1 – And Saul was consenting unto his death.
Here is a statement worthy of your consideration. You can only walk in the light you see. If you are blindfolded, or have your eyes closed, you may stumble about in the light, but again I say, you can only walk in the light you see. Now let’s take a look at the Saul of our Text for Today. We know that later he became known as Paul the Apostle, Apostle to the Gentile, writer of more than half the New Testament; an awesome legacy. But in our Text for Today, he was known as Saul of Tarsus.
Saul of Tarsus had been trained and educated at the feet of Gamaliel. He was deeply vested in the traditional Jewish system, considered to be a Pharisee of the most dedicated strain. Saul, in our Text for Today, was consenting unto the death, the stoning, the murder of Stephen. When the people laid their coats at Saul’s feet before stoning Stephen, they were, in effect, giving honor to Saul, indicating that what they were doing was at his bidding, for his benefit and pleasure. Think of that. But consider this, too. Saul was alive during the ministry of Jesus. He was among the Pharisees when Jesus was crucified. At that moment, he may not have been as highly ranked as the high priest, but for the arrest, beating, trial, and crucifixion of Jesus, he was definitely “consenting unto His death.” And then consider the vast number of Christians who were arrested, abused, beaten, imprisoned, and even killed at the bidding of Saul of Tarsus as he traveled about the countryside at the pleasure of the Jewish leadership in Jerusalem. This man was a man of darkness, a man void of light, a man with an agenda to destroy Christianity.
Yet he was loved by the same Lord to Whose death he was consenting. And in a single moment of confrontation, in a single statement of yielding, in a single encounter, Saul turned from death to life, from darkness to light. He began a journey with the Lord in which his stumbling in the darkness was changed into a sure walk in the light. He took the first step of a lifetime of change that was so marked that even his name was changed. He moved from unbeliever to believer, from heathen to Christian, from Pharisee to teacher, prophet, and ultimately, apostle. Please note how simple, yet eternally profound that “moment of confrontation” was that caused Saul to turn from death to life. You can see it in Acts 9:5 in Saul’s question, “Who are thou, Lord?” You need to realize right now that there may be a work for you to do that requires a “moment of confrontation” that takes you to a turn from death to life, from darkness to light, from unknown to known, from fear to faith. When it comes, meet it in faith, and perhaps change the world.
Manna for Today – Acts 8:1-3; Acts 9:1-18; John 3:1-21