[13] For you have heard of my former life in Judaism, how I persecuted the church of God violently and tried to destroy it. [14] And I was advancing in Judaism beyond many of my own age among my people, so extremely zealous was I for the traditions of my fathers. [15] But when he who had set me apart before I was born, and who called me by his grace, [16] was pleased to reveal his Son to me, in order that I might preach him among the Gentiles, I did not immediately consult with anyone; [17] nor did I go up to Jerusalem to those who were apostles before me, but I went away into Arabia, and returned again to Damascus. [18] Then after three years I went up to Jerusalem to visit Cephas and remained with him fifteen days. [19] But I saw none of the other apostles except James the Lord's brother. [20] (In what I am writing to you, before God, I do not lie!) [21] Then I went into the regions of Syria and Cilicia. [22] And I was still unknown in person to the churches of Judea that are in Christ. [23] They only were hearing it said, “He who used to persecute us is now preaching the faith he once tried to destroy.” [24] And they glorified God because of me. -- (Galatians 1:11-24 ESV)

Paul brought forth an all out attack on the church, and raged at the thought of people having a faith in God apart from Judaism (his own background). He was advanced among his peers in zeal for the destruction of believers - both collectively and individually. House-to-house he would go in search of his next victims.  He was nothing short of a terrorist.

But God had a different plan for Paul's life. Even before his birth, the Lord sought to show grace. Paul didn't ask for Jesus to appear to him on a familiar road. Rather, the Lord Jesus struck and humbled him. Paul laid aside his stones of condemnation and took up the cross of Christ. Paul was radically transformed; even going to ends of the earth to share the good news. He sent others out to preach as well.

Paul went to the gentiles, or those who were outside Judaism. Verse 23 reveals more of the heart of our God. Our Lord doesn't simply draw near to the likely candidates. Rather, they said of Paul “He who used to persecute us is now preaching the faith he once tried to destroy.” What a mighty, holy, kind, gracious, and good God we serve!

Do you ever think about what you don't know? That's not a typo. Do you ever think about what you don't know? We don't know what we don't know. One thing I know that we don't know is all that God may do through us if we fully submit to Him. If you're a Christ-follower, you have everything you need to do all that God has called you to do. Just like Paul, He has shown Himself to you, and drawn you into His glorious gospel. You are His son or daughter, and He is well pleased with you because of what Jesus has accomplished for you.

No one is outside the reach of God. There is no one whose past leaves them unlovable by their heavenly father. Have you given up on someone far from God? If God can save Paul - or if God can save you and I, God can save anyone and everyone who calls on His name.

For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them. - (Ephesians 2:10 ESV)

SCRIPTURE MEMORY

[10] For am I now seeking the approval of man, or of God? Or am I trying to please man? If I were still trying to please man, I would not be a servant of Christ.

(Galatians 1:10 ESV)