ODJ: chosen instruments

September 13, 2015 

READ: Acts 9:10-19 

Saul is my chosen instrument to take my message to . . . the people (v.15).

My daughter is only 5 years old, but she’s a self- declared ‘artist’. One day we talked about paintbrushes. I selected two and handed them to her. The first brush was slim, with bristles that ended in a fine point. The other brush was larger and thicker. I explained that artists typically use bigger brushes to fill in large areas, while tiny brushes work better for small spaces and creating details. Painting involves choosing the right tool at the right time in the artistic process.

Not long after Jesus’ death and resurrection, He announced, “[Paul] is my chosen instrument to take my message to the Gentiles and to kings, as well as to the people of Israel” (Acts 9:15).

Paul was the right man for the job, partly because he had been “given a thorough Jewish training from [his] earliest childhood” (Acts 26:4). As a Jewish man using the Hebrew language, Paul reached Israel’s ordinary people as well as prominent government officials. He even had a voice with the uppity religious leaders because he had been a practising “member of the Pharisees” prior to his conversion! (Acts 26:5).

As a Jewish man and a Roman citizen by birth, Paul was fluent in Hebrew and in Greek (Acts 21:37). This additional language allowed him to converse with almost anyone he encountered on his missionary travels. Fluency in Greek enabled him to start churches and even debate with Epicurean and Stoic philosophers (Acts 17:18).

—Jennifer Benson Schuldt

365-day-plan: John 13:21-38

Read Philippians 3:5-7 and see more of Paul’s qualifications along with where he found his true identity. 
How do you see the limitations in your life as they relate to your ability to serve God? How has He uniquely called and qualified you for His service?