The fruit of a changed life.
Something to read
[Paul] began to proclaim Jesus in the synagogues, saying, ‘He is the Son of God.’ All who heard him were amazed and said, ‘Is not this the man who made havoc in Jerusalem among those who invoked this name? And has he not come here for the purpose of bringing them bound before the chief priests?’
- Acts 9:20-21 from full reading Acts 9:19-25.
Something to think about
You have to say, you’d be suspicious. How many people change from persecutor to evangelist in no time at all? When the early church met Paul, how could they forget the punishment and vitriol he’d poured out on their number only days before? Could they trust his fledging faith in Jesus? Surely this was a trap? A confidence trick to prise a confession that could only lead to condemnation.
Of course, Paul had been changed in his powerful encounter with Christ on the road to Damascus, the path of his life forever changed in that moment. But for those he worshipped alongside in the church, his confession of Christ was not enough. It took them seeing the fruit of his changed life before they accepted what he said was true. It took Paul’s own life being threatened before they accepted him as one of their own.
Our faith is equally a gift from God, grace won through Christ’s sacrifice, but does your life tell that story? Do your words and deeds speak of Jesus’ love? Do you, like Paul, amaze those around you? May the love we show to the least speak of the love we receive from the highest.
Something to do
Time is a very precious resource in today’s society. How do you use yours? Could you support Christian Aid in this way? Why not look at the volunteering section of our website to find out more.
Something to pray
Christ showed his love for us by dying for us and rising to new life.
Let your Spirit so fill our hearts with this love
that its fruit may be borne in all we do.
May our lives be living expressions of your love
and the building blocks of your kingdom
for the sake of your son, Jesus Christ,
Today’s contributor is Andy Stinson. A disciple, husband, dad, deacon and priest. At the time of writing, Andy is Rector of Barrow (near Chester) and Worship and Liturgy Missioner for Chester Diocese.
Published on 07 February 2021