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Transformation (part 2)
Acts 9:15

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The first thing I think of when I hear the word "transformation" is the sudden, radical change that happened in Saul of Tarsus' life when he met the Risen Lord on the Road to Damascus. Perhaps it is the stark contrast resulting from the encounter or maybe it is the relatively short time the change took that grabs my attention, I'm not sure. But one thing I'm sure of, not all transformations are like that.

Some are slow, tedious and gradual. Sometimes they are so slow, the contrast is camouflaged by the repetitive tick of the clock. Have you ever seen time-lapsed photography of a seed's germination process? With the clock sped up, the roots extend, the small shoot emerges and a plant begins to grow. But who would have the patience to watch the process without the benefit of time lapse photography? The change is so gradual it will go unnoticed to the naked eye.

But even when the change happens instantaneously, there is a process involved. We often don't notice the process and only focus on "the moment of change." It is all a matter of perspective. If you take a pencil and hold it in front of your face, with the eraser on the left and the lead to the right, you will see an object, about seven inches in length. But you can rotate the pencil 90 degrees until all you can see is the eraser. So, is the pencil a yellow object seven inches in length or is it a pink object, about a quarter of an inch in diameter? From one perspective, it appears as a pink object a quarter of an inch in diameter, but when it is rotated to give a third dimension, it is easy to see that it is a yellow object about seven inches in length.

Is the perceptive that Salvation is only a point in time inadequate? Was Saul's salvation instantaneous? Well, yes. The encounter on the Road to Damascus was a defining moment. But before you miss the pencil for the eraser, consider the Lord's words to Ananias in Acts 9:15. "Go! This man is my chosen instrument to carry my name before the Gentiles and their kings and before the people of Israel. (NIV)

What time frame does the phrase "chosen instrument" suggest? Did God's act of "choosing" and the blinding light happen at the same time? The Apostle Paul didn't view it that way. In Ephesians 1:4, he wrote, "According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love." (NIV)

Before God created the world, He looked through eternity into time and chose Saul of Tarsus to become a witness to the Gentiles, and their kings and the people of Israel. There is a sense in which Saul's transformation began before he was even born. It began in the heart of God in eternity.

But another pertinent question is, did Saul's transformation end on the Road to Damascus? Or did it continue the rest of his life?
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