Repentance without Love
“Behold he prays.” —Acts 9:11
Read Acts 9:1-19
Saul of Tarsus is often brought up as an example when people discuss conversion. Sometimes they express their desire to experience a similar conversion because his was such a clear-cut case. Saul could clearly explain the change that took place in his life. But when we want to be like Saul, we do so for two main reasons. The first is due to unbelief: “I can only believe when I am changed in a powerful way.” This means you want to tell the Lord the way He must deal with you; if He would use another way you are not satisfied.
Secondly, pride rises up in our hearts when we wish to be converted in such a dramatic way – then we will have a story to tell others regarding our conversion. If we would be able to ask the Apostle Paul about his experience, I believe he would tell us not to use him as an example, for he had resisted the will of God. Instead, he would urge us to consider what he had written in Romans 2:4 – that the goodness of the Lord will lead to repentance. It was shocking for Paul to see that all his religious activities were actually useless. In fact, he came to the painful realization that instead of honouring God, he was fighting against Him!
You may think that you are serving God when you faithfully fulfill religious duties. You may even know many scripture passages by heart and be able to correct others when they err. To sum it all up: Your whole life may revolve around “religion,” but you lack one thing, even as Paul did: love. Saul laboured with great zeal, but he did not love the Lord. Consequently, the Lord dealt severely with him to bring him to repentance. Saul’s life must not be viewed as a role model; it was necessary for the Lord to take harsh steps in his life to stop him from continually opposing the cause of the Gospel. Our prayer must be; “Lord change me, and I will be changed.”
What does Paul say in 1 Corinthians 15:8 about his own conversion?
This devotional was taken from “The Time of Your Life” a daily devotional published by the Youth & Educational Committee of the FRC. To order a printed copy of this book, contact: firstname.lastname@example.org.