The Power of Grace
[God] saved us and called us to a holy calling, not because of our works but because of his own purpose and grace, which he gave us in Christ Jesus before the ages began.
~ 2 Timothy 1:9
Paul's conversion and call point to the power of grace. If we had met Paul before his conversion, we doubtless would have been persuaded that he would never be converted. Maybe we would even have thought he had blasphemed against the Holy Spirit and was unforgivable. Paul's conversion, then, reminds us of God's power to turn around the most unlikely people. We should never give up praying for those who seem impossible to reach, for salvation is of the Lord. Salvation is ultimately a miracle; it is a work of God. It cannot be calculated or manipulated.
God in His sovereignty desired to reveal His Son to Paul on the Damascus road, and in his grace and mercy he still saves today. No one deserves to be called by God. All of us, without exception, rightly stand under his judgment. Still, God calls us with thanks and praise for his merciful and transforming grace. Let us marvel that he saves sinners who are filled with hatred toward him.
In other words, we cannot take credit for our salvation! Ultimately and finally we did not choose God. He chose us. We are no better than the others. We were not wise enough to see what they didn't. The Lord opened our hearts to believe. When we consider that the Lord saved us by grace, our hearts will be filled with praise and thanksgiving.
Lord, I am filled with gratitude that I have been called to you. All praise to you for your mercy towards me. Amen.
~ Tom Schreiner