I believe in GRACE, ESPECIALLY for the people who some might call the “underdog.” I believe that Jesus offers grace and salvation for EVERYONE and not just people who look like they deserve it. I was reading Acts this morning and I remembered the story of Paul being converted into a Christian. During the process of conversion God told someone named Ananias to go and meet Saul/Paul. Here is what happened: Acts 9:10-14
10 Now there was a believer[b] in Damascus named Ananias. The Lord spoke to him in a vision, calling,“Ananias!” “Yes, Lord!” he replied. 11 The Lord said, “Go over to Straight Street, to the house of Judas. When you get there, ask for a man from Tarsus named Saul. He is praying to me right now. 12 I have shown him a vision of a man named Ananias coming in and laying hands on him so he can see again.” 13 “But Lord,” exclaimed Ananias, “I’ve heard many people talk about the terrible things this man has done to the believers[c] in Jerusalem! 14 And he is authorized by the leading priests to arrest everyone who calls upon your name.”
For the sake of this post I want to focus on Ananias’ response to God. So, a little more history: Paul was a man that persecuted Christians, he was actually on the way to do this very thing when God intervened and spoke to him saying “Saul why do you persecute me?” This is were Saul had an encounter with God and came to know who Jesus was. Meanwhile, God was talking to Ananias shortly after this and he told him to go meet Saul to lay hands on him so that he can see again because he lost his sight when he had the encounter on the way to Damascus.
Ananias answered God by saying all of the terrible things that he had heard about Saul. How often do we encounter people that we have heard negative things about and count them out of being a candidate for God’s grace? How many times do we see people who don’t look like they can be helped? How many times do we send someone to hell because of their past and what we’ve heard about them?
V 16 “But the Lord said, “Go, for Saul is my chosen instrument to take my message to the Gentiles and to kings, as well as to the people of Israel.”
We often forget that we ourselves have NOT been saved all of our lives! There was a point of conversion or an encounter where Jesus turned our lives around. So this is to encourage you that no matter what a person has done, what you have heard about them, or what you THINK they deserve…Remember that until this life is over, they still have a chance.
Don’t count anyone out!