Looking back, there was no better moment in Paul's life, but when it happened, Paul's life was turned upside down. Firm in his belief that he was serving God, Paul was pursuing Christians as far away as Damascus, a six-day journey. One saint in Damascus knew of his reputation, and prayed, "Lord, I have heard from many about this man, how much evil he has done to your saints at Jerusalem" (Acts 9:13). Then the moment occurred, and the skies opened, and Paul looked upon the one he had believed a fraud, "I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting" (Acts 9:5).
I came home from college the summer following my sophomore year, and ran into a friend from high school. His name was John, but we called him "Animal." An all-city nose guard, he was crazy on, and off, the football field. A wicked wit, he spoke in rhyme, funny and filthy. "Hey Animal," I smiled, anticipating a barrage of profanity, blasphemy, and debauchery. Instead, I got Grace. I got the Gospel. I got introduced to his friend, Jesus Christ. "John, what happened?"
"I got Jesus." Jesus got John.
Paul got the Gospel and Jesus got Paul. Repentance means to turn around, go the opposite direction. Paul repented. "All who heard him were amazed and said, 'Is not this the man who made havoc in Jerusalem of those who called upon this name?' But Saul increased all the more in strength, and confounded the Jews who lived in Damascus by proving that Jesus was the Christ" (Acts 9:21-22). Nice people make nice Christians, but watch what happens when God grabs a person of passion.
It's amazing grace, my God. I was a sinner, and You changed me. Now, I am a saint. May I never forget the transformation, and may I never tire of telling the story.
The goodness, the righteousness, the holiness of Your Son is now mine. I still sin, I know I do. But no longer am I a sinner. I am a child of God, not by anything I have done, but by the work of Jesus Christ. May the passion I used to display toward worldliness and wickedness be given to godliness all the more so.