Saleama A. Ruvalcaba
Sitting in church yesterday, during Easter service, people were asked to accept Jesus Christ as their Savior. The pastor didn’t ask people to come forward, but he did ask them to make a public declaration – to not be ashamed of Jesus Christ, by simply standing. About fifty or so people stood up and we all rejoiced. Very quickly I thought about my ten years as a Christian and how Jesus Christ changed my life. I thought about the people who stood up in church as new Christians, and how quickly Jesus Christ can change our lives – if we allow him.
Acts 9:1-2 “Then Saul, still breathing threats and murder against the disciples of the Lord, went to the high priest and asked for letters from him to the synagogues of Damascus, so that if he found any who were of the Way, whether men and women, he might bring them bound to Jerusalem.
The Way was the name of a new group of Jesus’ followers. Saul, or Paul, as he is later known, was vicious to say the least. He was relentless in his zeal to defend the Jewish faith. These crazy, neurotic followers of Jesus Christ were worshiping a “dead man”, and, therefore, Saul considered them dangerous. He would stop at nothing to annihilate anyone who dared to speak the name of Jesus Christ.
Think about Paul for a moment. Try to think beyond this as a Christian vs. Jewish situation.
What are you zealous about?
In your mind, you might not care about religion. For all you care, people can worship whoever they want. But think about the destructive life you live today. Think about how zealous you are for your sin. Think about the marital affair you’re having right now. Think about the drugs, the alcohol, the prostitution you engage in daily. Think about the money you stole from your family last week. Think about your children you neglect. Think about the “small items” you steal from work each week. What we fail to realize is, our sin has the same profound impact as Saul’s destructive behavior. Saul wasn’t merely persecuting Christians – He was persecuting Jesus Christ.
Acts 9:3-4 “As he journeyed he came near Damascus, and suddenly a light shone around him from heaven. Then he fell to the ground, and heard a voice saying, “Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting Me?”
You’re sitting there thinking, “How am I persecuting Jesus? He hasn’t done anything for me. This is my life.”
Jesus Christ was beaten for our transgression and rose from the grave. He died so that we may live a sinless life. He bore all of our sins. When Jesus Christ rose from the dead He defeated Satan – and crushed sin under His feet. When we choose to live a life of sin, we are directly persecuting Jesus Christ. We, in essence, slap Jesus in the face for what He has done for us. Sin is not a choice we have to live with. When we become followers of Jesus Christ, He will change our lives – and we no longer pride ourselves of living in sin.
Do you believe Jesus Christ can change lives? Well, listen to how I once lived and how I am today. Prior to becoming a Christian, I cursed like a sailor. It was part of my normal vocabulary. It is no longer part of my normal vocabulary. I was a liar. I lied to my husband. To my children. To my co-workers. I would work-up an entire performance and pretend I was sick before lying and calling in sick for work. I no longer lie about anything! Prior to being Christian, I thought fornication was a normal part of society. I watched movies that had explicit sex, drugs or violence – and thought nothing of it. I even allowed my son to watch these movies because I was silly enough to think he did not know what he was looking at. I was a walking time-bomb before Jesus Christ. If I were at a restaurant and received the wrong order, the workers would get an earful about their incompetent, idiotic behavior. If I were in the store and someone accidentally bumped into to me, I would cursed at them for being inconsiderate. My family HATED being out with me because I was an embarrassment with my behavior. I had a horrible marriage before Jesus Christ. Fights with my husband would lead to yelling, screaming, throwing and breaking things in our house – all in front of our children! Our neighbors constantly warned us for our volatile arguments. That all ended when Jesus Christ became Lord over my life.
When I share these stories with people today, they’re amazed. They can’t believe it. Why can’t they believe it? Because that’s the power of Jesus Christ. He will change your life!
Acts 9:20 “Immediately he (Saul) preached the Christ in the synagogues, that He is the Son of God.”
The impact that Jesus Christ had on Saul’s life was so powerful, that Saul began to preach that Jesus Christ was indeed the Messiah. Saul’s fame as a persecutor of Christians was so well-known, the people thought he was out of his mind! The Jews eventually plotted to kill him but he escaped beforehand. Here he was, a zealous murderer of Christians, now he preaches that Jesus Christ is the Messiah?
We are not deprived of the same impact – and the same conversions in our lives. Jesus Christ can make a direct impact in your life today. Just like the people in my church who stood up as a public declaration of their new faith, you too can have a life-changing experience with Jesus Christ.
So you want to know what Jesus Christ has done for you? Don’t look at your material circumstances, look into your heart. Consider your life today. Consider your thoughts, your feelings, and your actions. Do they represent the love of Jesus Christ? Do people see you as a person who brings joy? Is your husband happy to see you? Are your children excited when you arrive home because of the love that exudes from you?
What can Jesus Christ do for you?
He will love you. There isn’t a person on this earth who will ever love you more. Not your mom, dad, brother, sister, BFF, your husband, your boyfriend, your most godliest mentor. No, Jesus Christ will always love you more. His love will cause you to leave your sinful life. With His love inside your heart, and then through the power of the Holy Spirit, you will share that love with others.