Free agency has caused some strange situations in sports. None of those situations are stranger than those cases where a player switches from one rival team to another. The star, once adored by the original team’s fans suddenly becomes enemy number one. The receiving team’s fans who used to “boo” his every move now cheer his every little success.
You could say that Paul “switched teams” on the road to Damascus. He had been a fire breathing zealot for the Pharisees, hunting down and imprisoning followers of Christ. No one dared to stand before Paul when he enforced the law. Then Jesus appeared to him on the road to Damascus and his world turned upside down, or, some might say, right side up. Rather than persecuting the followers of Christ, Paul had become a follower and began preaching the good news about Jesus seeking to help others believe. Followers of Christ who may not have known Paul, heard about him. “They only heard the report: ‘The man who formerly persecuted us is now preaching the faith he once tried to destroy.’” (Galatians 1:23)
Jesus calls each of us to “switch teams” and follow Him. It doesn’t matter if you have grown up in a church and spent more time there than at home, or if you have lived a life of moral depravity; Jesus calls you to forsake your old ways and follow Him. Our old ways of sin are shown not so much by our “terrible” activities, but by our separation from God. When Jesus calls us, He calls us into a relationship with Him that destroys the separation and brings us close to Him. We may not be intentionally trying to destroy the church, as Paul did, but anytime we try to make our behavior the cornerstone of our faith, we are destroying the idea of faith built on grace. We don’t change our behavior so that God will love us. We love Him because He first loved us and as we stay close to Him, we become more like Him.
What team are you on? Are you a follower of Christ who realizes that Jesus paid it all? Are you a follower of Christ who understands that anything good that you have done is a result of God working in your life? Or are you a person who takes pride in how good they are? Are you a person who goes to church and does good deeds in hopes that you can earn credit with God so that maybe you’ll be accepted at the final judgment. God wants you on His team. He wants you to give up even the good things you are doing and place your faith and trust in Him. When you do that, you can know that God loves you no matter what and that you can live with and for Him each and every day. Which team are you on?
Lord God, thank You that You asked me to be in fellowship with You. Thank You that You have given that opportunity to each and every person in the world. Now that I am in fellowship with You, let my life draw others to You. Let me be a witness of Your amazing grace.