Saul of Tarsus

Becoming God’s Chosen Instrument

But the Lord said to him, “Go, for he is a chosen instrument of mine to carry my name before the Gentiles and kings and the children of Israel.” Acts 9:15 (ESV)

Breathing threats and murder, Saul set off for Damascus, clutching a letter that would permit him to capture followers of Jesus and bring them to Jerusalem. On the way, a bright light knocked Saul to the ground, and he found himself helpless in the total darkness of blindness. He also heard a voice calling him by name.

“Who are you, Lord?” he respectfully asked.

“I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting,” the voice replied.

Then instead of entering Damascus the way he had planned—stirring up fear in the hearts of Jesus’ followers—Saul arrived humbly, led by the hands of others. He went to Damascus because Jesus told him to go there and to wait for further instructions.

Saul fasted until his body was totally weak. Maybe his mind raced with questions about his future: Was the blindness temporary? What would Jesus require of him? In answer, Saul received a vision about a man named Ananias who would come and pray so that he might regain his sight.

Ananias was reluctant to help Paul.  He knew about all the evil Saul had done to the followers of Jesus in Jerusalem. But God had plans for Saul’s life. He would become Paul, the Lord’s chosen instrument to spread the gospel rather than persecution. In fact, through Paul’s work, the gospel would go out to the ends of the earth, even to us.

Your life has a plan too. You are one of God’s chosen instruments. Have you asked Him where He wants you to go and what He wants you to do?


Compare 1 Corinthians 9:1, 15:8, and Galatians 1:11-24 with Acts 9:26-28. How was God glorified because of Paul? How has He been glorified through you recently?

Acts 13:9 states that Saul was called Paul at this point. What was the occasion in Acts 13:1-3?

Read 2 Corinthians 5:16-19. When God makes us “new creations,” what becomes our new ministry?

Nancy J. Baker

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