From the moment we are born until the day we die, life is full of transitions. In fact, birth and death are transitions, themselves. Some transitions are joyful - weddings, graduations, etc. Others are not - divorce, for example. In every transition, though, we know that God is present if not orchestrating it.
How do we manage our transitions as people who love Jesus? Perhaps, by studying the major transition in Paul's life, when he went from Christian Killer to Apostle Evangelist to the Greeks, we will glean insights to the transitions of life so they will neither paralyze or perturb us.
With Jesus leading our way, we have no need to fear any transition...even those we do not understand. I hope you'll enjoy this message. I've provided an outline, below, for you to follow. Let me know how the Lord speaks to you through it.
God bless you, Kirk McCormick
Saul’s Transition, from Christian Killer to Apostle Evangelist
1. Confirmation (God-send: Ananias)
“Brother Saul, the Lord - Jesus…has sent me so that you may see again and be filled with the Holy Spirit.” 18 Immediately, something like scales fell from Saul’s eyes, and he could see again. He got up and was baptized.” (Acts 8:17-18)
2. Change (God-send: Disciples)
“At once he began to preach in the synagogues that Jesus is the Son of God. All those who heard him were astonished and asked, ‘Isn’t he the man who raised havoc in Jerusalem among those who call on this name?’”
Tullian Tchividjian (pastor at Coral Ridge Pres. Church), article - "Trusting in God's Declaration,"
“God does not move us beyond the gospel; he moves us moredeeply into the gospel, because all of the power we need in order to change and mature comes through the gospel … The gospel does not simply ignite the Christian life; it is the fuel that keeps Christians going and growing every day.”
3. Complication (God-send: Barnabas)
“When he came to Jerusalem, he tried to join the disciples, but they were all afraid of him, not believing that he really was a disciple.” (Acts 9:26)
4. Completion (God-send: the Brothers)
“So Saul stayed with them and moved about freely in Jerusalem, speaking boldly in the name of the Lord.” (Acts 9:28)
** “Saul Stayed…”
…and then we read - (9:29-30)
Saul talked and debated with the Grecian Jews, but they tried to kill him. When the brothers learned of this, they took him down to Caesarea and sent him off to Tarsus.
…and then he said (Phil. 1:6) -
“And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ.”
** God is true to his Word…his promises never fail…
…So…when it comes to transitions in life…
Application 1 - Do not fear any transition when God is orchestrating it.
Isaiah 41:10 - God says, “Do not fear, for I am with you. Do not be discouraged, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you. I will hold you up with my victorious right hand.”
Application 2 - In times of transition, pray for and partner with the “God-sends” who support, advocate, council, encourage.
Note: Remember the example of Saul… When it was Saul’s time for:
· Confirmation… God-send = Ananias
· Change… God-send = Disciples - to support, care for, teach, encourage
· Complication… God-send = Barnabas - who stood up for Saul with Apostles
· Completion… God-send = the Brothers - who sheltered him, saved him from mob, got him back to Tarsus