“Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.” 1 Corinthians 13:4-7 NIV
Today’s passage comes from Paul. A man that was seen by Christians before his conversion as anything but lovely. Matter of fact, Saul (before his name changed to Paul), was not loving at all. He was not kind to Jesus nor to the believers like Stephen—whom he had killed. He was envious because Jesus’ teaching was more influential than his own. He boasted to others as a self-righteous leader and condemned anyone who did not practice customs as he did. He dishonored the Father in heaven, selfishly sought his own desires, and had hatred flowing through his blood. Oh he kept a record alright. One that gave him permission to arrest, torture, and kill every Christian he saw, given by the highest authorities. I am not sure he delighted in evil because I feel he thought he was killing away the spreading disease of Christianity. Saul protested to his God, not realizing it was God’s Son that was speaking on his behalf.
Saul ran down the road “breathing out murderous threats against the Lord’s disciples”- Acts 9:1, only to find himself confronted by a major roadblock on the road to Damascus.
“As he neared Damascus on his journey, suddenly a light from heaven flashed around him. He fell to the ground and heard a voice say to him, Saul, Saul, why do you persecute me?” Acts 9:3,4
We all will walk down that road someday. One of loneliness, or one with companionship. A road that leads to destruction, or the road that leads to life. The road filled with joy, love, and grace, or the one that is filled with pride, envy, or hopelessness. (This road is the one most travel.) Matthew 7:13,14
Saul was confronted by Jesus Himself. We are all confronted with Jesus to make a choice on how we want to live our years on this earth. Saul found the answer. Saul turned a 180, repented, and never looked back at his old life. He was a new man. A new creation. Having a new purpose for his life.
Paul ended up writing the very first verse I ever memorized as a junior in high school and I never looked back either. 2 Corinthians 5:17 says “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come. The old has gone, the new is here.”
Saul was looking pretty flashy at first, but he was living in sin.
He found Christ….and he became Love!