This is Paul’s 3rd defense in as many chapters.
Other versions of Paul’s story can be found in chapters 9 and 22.
4 Necessary elements of your story:
- Build Commonality
- Describe your Conversion
- the person you were
- what happened
- the person you are
- Connection to God’s story
- Compulsion to accept
Big Idea: Merge your story with God’s story.
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C.S. Lewis’s Story in Surprised by Joy:
[su_quote]You must picture me alone in that room at Magdalen, night after night, feeling, whenever my mind lifted even for a second from my work, the steady, unrelenting approach of Him whom I so earnestly desired not to meet. That which I greatly feared had at last come upon me. In the Trinity Term of 1929 I gave in, and admitted that God was God, and knelt and prayed: perhaps, that night, the most dejected and reluctant convert in all England. I did not then see what is now the most shining and obvious thing; the Divine humility which will accept a convert even on such terms. The Prodigal Son at least walked home on his own feet. But who can duly adore that Love which will open the high gates to a prodigal who is brought in kicking, struggling, resentful, and darting his eyes in every direction for a chance of escape?… The hardness of God is kinder than the softness of men, and His compulsion is our liberation.[/su_quote]
The Hound of Heaven by Francis Thompson
[su_quote]I fled Him, down the nights and down the days;
I fled Him, down the arches of the years; I fled Him, down the labyrinthine ways
Of my own mind; and in the midst of tears I hid from Him, and under running laughter.
Up vistaed hopes I sped;
And shot, precipitated, Adown Titanic glooms of chasmed fears,
From those strong Feet that followed, followed after.
But with unhurrying chase,
And unperturbèd pace,
Deliberate speed, majestic instancy,
They beat—and a Voice beat
More instant than the Feet—
‘All things betray thee, who betrayest Me’
… Halts by me that footfall:
Is my gloom, after all, Shade of His hand, outstretched caressingly?
‘Ah, fondest, blindest, weakest,
I am He Whom thou seekest! Thou dravest love from thee, who dravest Me.'[/su_quote]
verse 15 – “I am Jesus whom you are persecuting.” – When Christians are persecuted Jesus is persecuted.
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