July 12th, 2018
Paul’s Reputation Preceded Him
Acts 9:13-14 (KJB) Then Ananias answered, Lord, I have heard by many of this man, how much evil he hath done to thy saints at Jerusalem: 14 And here he hath authority from the chief priests to bind all that call on thy name.
It is true- what a man has done in the past makes a reputation or status on his behalf in this world. It, most often, speaks much louder than what his life may now encompass. It is true his reputation often “speaks” louder than current actions.
In these verses, Paul was still recognized and known by the magnitude of his sinful past rather than what he was eagerly doing now in serving God. Despite the fact the God was alive inside his heart and affecting his speech and actions, many people still chose to see him as he was, rather than who he is with God at work in his life.
Ananias was peering at Paul through the lens of his past. He could not envision Paul as he was, a child of God. There are a lot of people with this same kind of spiritual spatial vision problem today in this world. They choose to look at people and situations with a faulty, or corroded lens, clouded by the sins of yesterday, rather than one enhanced by the supernatural power and purpose of God.
God’s eternal heart work of salvation found inside the heart of a spiritually changed man or woman of God clearly speaks with a new perpetual reputation that mirrors the growing spiritual character of God in his or her life. Paul’s life now shined with the character and fruit of God despite his tarnished past.