Scripture – Acts 8:1, 3 (amp)
And Saul was [not only] consenting to [Stephen’s] death [he was pleased and entirely approving]. On that day a great and severe persecution broke out against the church which was in Jerusalem; and they were all scattered throughout the regions of Judea and Samaria, except the apostles (special messengers).
But Saul shamefully treated and laid waste the church continuously [with cruelty and violence]; and entering house after house, he dragged out men and women and committed them to prison.
Saul was a Christian-hating psychopath. His mentor was Gamaliel, one of the top pharisee dudes, and he was the young up-and-coming star of the Sanhedrin. He knew all the top brass and had his sights on becoming the youngest-ever chief priest one of these days. It’s difficult to overstate how voraciously opposed he was to the Way.
It’s easy to love people as they are beginning to turn the corner and have an encounter with God. It’s not easy to love the people who just straight up hate you, hate your church and your Jesus.
I wonder who the people are that are Saul’s to our church and our faith. Who are the people we just steer clear of? Do I believe it’s possible one or more of them could experience such a 180 turnaround?
I want to find someone who just hates us. And pray. And love. And see what happens.
Father, please give me supernatural insight into who could be a Saul in our community, who would do anything to see our faith and our church fail. Show me and our church how to pray and how to love so that we are there when it happens. Amen.