Why are you persecuting me?
Saul was one of the witnesses, and he agreed completely with the killing of Stephen. Saul was going everywhere to destroy the church. He went from house to house, dragging out both men and women to throw them into prison. Saul was uttering threats with every breath and was eager to kill the Lord’s followers. As he was approaching Damascus on this mission, a light from heaven suddenly shone down around him. He fell to the ground and heard a voice saying to him, “Saul! Saul! Why are you persecuting me?” “Who are you, lord?” Saul asked. And the voice replied, “I am Jesus, the one you are persecuting! -Acst 8:1,3;9:1,3-5 NLT
Is there a more stunning encounter in all of the bible? The story reminds me of how Moses met God when he was drawn to the spectacle of a burning bush. Isn't it amazing how one experience with the Almighty can change your whole life? I remember clearly that day when I first bowed my head and my heart to God in prayer. Nothing was the same after that. It was as if I had crossed over into a world that I had previously never known.
The bible and Christian history is replete with stories like mine and like the one in these verses. It speaks to me of God's pursuit of the souls of people who are so misguided and so in need of his redemption. So often our religious zeal, like that of Saul in these verses, can be so out of step with God. It is a good reminder that we must test our zeal with the love of God lest we find ourselves persecuting the very people that Jesus Christ loves and died for.
Help us to remember Lord that we may be persecuting you when we do not act with love towards those you love.