In one of the most dramatic conversions in the Bible, Saul—a fanatic Jewish leader and persecutor of the early Jesus movement—is met by Jesus himself as he heads out to arrest and imprison those following Jesus. In a blinding light, Saul encounters Jesus and his life is immediately transformed as he recognizes that the one whose followers he’s been persecuting is—in actuality—the Messiah.
While he thought he was doing God’s work (by arresting those who’d abandoned Judaism and were now following this sect called “The Way”), Saul was—in reality—God’s enemy. What he thought was righteous and God-honoring activity was, instead, the very thing that demonstrated his sinfulness.
Saul didn’t realize the depth of his sin that made him God’s enemy at the time, he later wrote, “But whatever were gains to me I now consider loss for the sake of Christ. What is more, I consider everything a loss…I consider them garbage, that I may gain Christ and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own…” (Philippians 3.7-9).
Like Saul, our good deeds don’t (and can’t) earn us friendship with God. Moving from being God’s enemy to his friend only happens when we place our faith and trust in Jesus and what he did on the cross. That’s reconciliation!
As you welcome God into your day, thank him for doing everything necessary to make you his friend by writing a short prayer on a 3 x 5 card. Pray this prayer three times today to remind yourself of God’s goodness on your behalf.